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Discuss the reference to nature at the end of Chapter #2, page 33. What is Paul...

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lyd-wil | Honors

Posted May 16, 2013 at 4:47 PM via web

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Discuss the reference to nature at the end of Chapter #2, page 33. What is Paul experiencing as he says, " Outside the door I am aware of the darkness and the wind as a deliverance..."  Does this signal a change in Paul's emotions in All Quiet on the Western Front?

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 16, 2013 at 6:47 PM (Answer #1)

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The references to nature can be seen as a response to Paul’s friend’s death, and Muller’s reaction to the boots.

In this part of chapter 2, Kemmerich is dying.  They got to visit him, and are told he needs to be moved because he is dead and they need the bed.  Muller wants his boots.  Paul does not judge this behavior.  After all, Kemmerich is dead and not using the boots anymore.  When Paul runs out, he is feeling especially alive.

My limbs move supplely, I feel my joints strong, I breathe the air deeply. The night lives, I live. I feel a hunger, greater than comes from the belly alone. (ch 2)

Sometimes we respond with relief when a comrade dies.  Paul is sad his friend is dead, but glad that he is alive.  He is also pleased to be able to deliver the boots to Muller, where they “fit well.”  Muller thanks him with “a fine piece of saveloy.”  They are celebrating being alive, in a time when such a thing is not to be taken for granted.

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