All Quiet on the Western Front

" They have lost their innocents. Everything

they are taught, "the world of work, duty, culture, and progress" are not the slightest use to them because the only

thing they need to know is how to survive. They need to know how to escape the shells as well as the emotional

and psychological torment of the war. The war takes an heavy toll on the soldiers who fight in it. The terror of

death will infest the minds of soldiers and bring about horrible images of death and destruction until they break

down and go to pieces. "Every hour and everyday, every shell and every death cuts this thin line of sanity, and the

years waste it rapidly." In these dangerous moments, anybody would have gone mad, have deserted their post, or

have fallen. It takes a special kind of soldier to deal with this emotional abuse; a soldier who will not go to pieces at

the sight of a mutilated body; it takes a soldier like Baumer. Baumer has "grown accustomed to it; war is the cause

of death like influenza and dysentery. The deaths are merely more frequent, more varied and terrible." He has rid

himself of all feelings and thoughts. His emotions lie buried in the earth a


 
 
 
 
 
 



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