Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version | MonkeyNotes
11. Turn to Chapter 10 where Paul and Kropp are sent to a Catholic hospital behind the lines. After Paul is well enough to move about, he discovers just how many different categories of wounded men are in the same hospital. Find that section and review Paul's ideas. if you agree with Paul, you might simply state Paul's meaning and then support it with figures from history as to how many men were killed, wounded, or maimed for life by World War I. (See the Setting section in this guidebook.) You might also add that seeing all these injuries neatly categorized in a civilian setting-a place where everyone is expected to have full use of his body-makes them seem even more horrible than at the front where you expect injury and death.
If, on the other hand, you disagree with Paul and think that the battlefield shows more truly what war is, you might use examples from Chapter 6 (the long chapter detailing what an endless period of trench warfare involved) or the screaming horses from Chapter 4. The crying of the horses dramatizes in quite a different way how directly contrary to nature war is.
12. This question takes you directly to Chapter 7 in which Paul goes home on leave. Examples follow one another quite rapidly within that chapter. Ones you might want to include are the major who does not seem to understand anything about war and insists on marching and saluting, and the armchair strategists who tell Paul he couldn't possibly understand the overall picture of the war since he is fighting in only one part of it. Even Paul's mother, who seems more understanding than they, reduces the war to a discussion of how to get a safe job and the need to be careful of French women. In each example state what happened or was said and show that it is foreign to Paul by contrasting it with the kinds of things he has been experiencing at the front.
13. Paul's lies to Frau (Mrs.) Kemmerich can be explained in several ways, some more flattering to Paul than others. Reread two sections: the end of Chapter 2 where Paul sits next to the dying Kemmerich, and the section in Chapter 7 where he actually talks to Kemmerich's mother. Then decide for yourself which motive is uppermost or whether Paul may have had mixed motives: a desire to spare her feelings, a desire to give Kemmerich's death greater dignity than it really had, the fact that he just didn't care and wanted to get a distasteful job done with the least trouble, or even a revenge motive-to deprive her of the truth because she blamed him for surviving.
14. It is Kropp who actually says, "The war has ruined us for everything." The comment occurs in a discussion of plans for after the war in Chapter 5 and refers specifically to Paul, Kropp, and their classmates. In your answer contrast Paul and his classmates with other soldiers who have jobs or wives to return to. The Characters section of this guidebook will help you review which soldiers have something or someone to go back to. Consider also why it will be difficult for Paul and his classmates to take any job seriously after the war. What has happened to make all ordinary jobs or studies look pointless to them?
15. Friendship is such a constant theme of the novel that you should be able to find examples in nearly every chapter. For a quick review of some of the scenes involving comradeship see the Theme section of this guidebook, and consider also how the classmates' beating of Himmelstoss and, later, the change in Himmelstoss demonstrate different aspects of friendship.