In All Quiet on the Western Front, what do the symbols of boots, horses, and cancer represent?

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In All Quiet on the Western Front, boots represent playing the part of a soldier. In Chapter 2, Paul says of his boots, "standing up one looks well-built and powerful in these great drainpipes. But when we go bathing and strip, suddenly we have slender legs again and slight shoulders. We are no longer soldiers but little more than boys" (page 29). Boots are part of the armor that turns a young man physically and psychologically into a soldier. When the men remove their boots, they are civilians, but donning boots immediately makes them resume playing the role of soldiers.

In Chapter 4,...

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