Paul goes home on leave and regrets what it does to his heart. As he enters his childhood town, he realizes his life will never be the same. A terrible gulf exists between his present and his past and also between himself and his parents. He sees his past, in Chapter 6, as "a vast inapprehensible melancholy. . . . They [memories] are past, they belong to another world that is gone from us. . . . And even if these scenes of our youth were given back to us we would hardly know what to do. . . . I believe we are lost." At home on leave among his books and childhood papers, he realizes that he can never find his way back to that earlier Paul. Too much has happened at the front for him to believe in human beings or compassion. Even with his parents he realizes that life will never be the same. Paul knows his contemporaries share his feelings near the end of his story when he views the
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