In Chapter 12 of All Quiet on the Western Front, explain the meaning of the title of the book, especially as it relates to Paul.

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 12, the war is finally drawing to a close. Paul is the last of the group of seven youths with whom he joined up to survive to this point, "the last of the seven fellows from our class." There is much talk "of peace and armistice," and this time, it seems that the talk might be true. The war is winding down, the hostilities are almost at an end, but Paul, though he has suffered so much and made it so far, does not live to see the peace. Just when it seems that his long ordeal is over and he has escaped the threats to his life that have been constant over the past years, he is cut down. On the day he dies, it is

"so quiet and still on the whole front, that the army report confine(s) itself to the single sentence: All quiet on the Western Front."

Paul's death is quick, and quiet, and completely unexpected; he falls forward and "lay(s) on the earth as though sleeping." A single bullet, perhaps an errant shot, brings Paul's life to an end at last. The title of the book is significant because all is indeed quiet on the Western Front; the war is over, the shooting and bombardment have ceased, and, tragically, Paul lies quietly as well, his voice silenced at just the moment when it seems he is finally safe (Chapter 12).

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All Quiet on the Western Front

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