They are not so much lines as marks under the skin

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They are not so much lines as marks. Under the skin the life no longer pulses, it has already pressed out the boundaries of the body. Death is working through from within. It already has command in the eyes. Here lies our comrade, Kemmerich, who a little while ago was roasting horse flesh with us and squatting in the shell-holes” (14). Injuries were not something that one could just put a bandaid on and forget about, if a soldier went into the hospital, majority of the time they were not coming out alive. Moreover, Remarque vividly illustrates the realities of war throughout the novel. Imagery is used by authors to help the readers visualize the subject talked about. Paul also states in the book, “We see men living with their skulls blown open; we see soldiers run with their two feet cut off, they stagger on their splintered stumps into the next shell-hole; a lance-corporal crawls a mile and a half on his hands dragging his smashed knee after him; another goes to the dressing station and over his clasped hands bulge his intestines; we see men without mouths, without jaws, without faces; we find one man who has held the artery of his arm in his teeth for two hours in order not to bleed to death. The sun goes down, night comes, the shells whine, life is at an end” (134). Remarques uses imagery to brilliantly portray the monstrosities of war to his audience. Occasionally, along with imagery and symbolism, an author will use metaphors to also help readers understand the concepts. Remarque's metaphors are powerful and thought-provoking, for they help the readers see war through items that are seen in their everyday life, such as robots, clay, and beast. Remarque calls the soldiers beast and Paul thinks the same thing in the novel. He explains,“We have become wild beasts. We do not fight, we defend ourselves against annihilation. It is not against men that we fling our bombs, what do we
know of men in this moment when Death is hunting us down--now, for the first time in three days we can see his face, now for the first time in three days we can oppose him; we feel a mad anger. No longer do we lie helpless, waiting on the scaffold, we can destroy and kill, to save ourselves, to save ourselves and to be revenged. We crouch behind every corner, behind every barrier of barbed wire, and hurl heaps of explosives at the feet of the advancing enemy before we run. The blast of the hand-grenades impinges powerfully on our arms and legs; crouching like cats we run on, overwhelmed by this wave that bears us along, that fills us with ferocity, turns us into thugs, into murderers, into God only knows what devils; this wave that multiplies our strength with fear and madness and greed of life, seeking and fighting for nothing but our deliverance. If your own father came over with them you would not hesitate to fling a bomb at him” (113). All Quiet on the Western Front lets one see how the soldiers evolve from being little naïve boys of war to the mature men who have seen what war can do to an individual.

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