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Unformatted text preview: This chapter, one of the most dramatic in the book, depicts how Paul reacts to the intense fighting along the western front. As Remarque's most pointed explanation of how war reduces combatants to simple survival skills, the section contains reminders that humanitarianism and compassion quickly return, impelling the men to help the wounded and dying and to commiserate with maimed horses. Like animals themselves, the men cling to the earth in shell holes, trenches, and dugouts, foreshadowing their own burials, as well as the cemetery battle scene. As Paul notes, if fate proves false, the earth will receive them forever. The consciousness of the front and its terrors streams through this chapter in Paul's thoughts. He says "there is suddenly in our veins, in our hands, in our eyes a tense waiting, a watching, a heightening alertness, a strange sharpening of the senses." This new consciousness is compared to heightening alertness, a strange sharpening of the senses....
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2011 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.
- Fall '08