Much of Chapter 9 concerns Paul's readjustment to the front and also continues to develop Remarque's philosophy on a number of issues stemming from war. The Kaiser's visit causes Paul and his friends to discuss the nature of war and those who fight it. They wonder who is right: The French fight for their homeland and the Germans fight for theirs. So who is really right in protecting their land, and who is wrong? These wars are started by rulers like the Kaiser but the little people — the shopkeepers and the farmers — are the ones who must fight the war. So who profits from this event? The rulers and the generals gain fame, and many others profit financially. But those who must do the dirty work are the little people who have wives and families at home. Finally, Albert concludes, "The best thing is not to talk about the rotten business." Later, when Paul kills the French soldier, he
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little people, Germans fight, generals gain fame