All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

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

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Thanh Munoz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The meaning of the title, in general and specifically with regard to Paul, can be interpreted in different ways, but the overriding concept is one of the senseless nature of war, of life, and of death. The war as a whole, and each day of it, are a kind of business as usual in terms of the absurd violence men carry out against each other. Paul is killed on a day close to the Armistice and when nothing is happening of note (in German the phrase is nichts Neues—"nothing new," or "no news"). It's thus a double absurdity that he should be killed at such a time, though in this context it is paradoxically fitting as well that his death happens when it does.

But Paul is already dead before this. He has told us from the beginning that the war has destroyed his generation. His friendship with Katczinsky is the only thing left to him. When Kat is hit, Paul can't believe he's dead, and tells the orderly that Kat must have fainted. At the final realization and acceptance of his having been killed,...

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