All Quiet on the Western Front Questions and Answers
by Erich Maria Remarque

All Quiet on the Western Front book cover
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significance of quote "I think of the picture of the girl on the poster and, for a moment, believe that my life depends on winning her. And if I press ever deeper into the arms that embrace me, perhaps a miracle may happen." p150 Why does that poster stir Paul so deeply? Is there any moment in the book in which Paul wants something as much as he wants to win over the woman in the poster? What does she represent to him?

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In World War II (perhaps the Korean war, as well as others), pin-up girls were very popular. Women such as Betty Grable, in a one-piece swim suit, with long legs and beautiful face and figure, were posted wherever a man could post such a picture—lockers, etc. It might have taken the place of a girl-at-home that a soldier might not have, but I would think it represented home specifically. It did not matter where home was. Not only would it remind (as mentioned above) the soldier of a life without war, but it might also have reminded the soldier of the country and way of life he knew he was defending. The pin-up girl, no matter who she was, represented the U.S. and a way of life, and holding fast to that went a long way to keeping morale up during wartime.

More info. about pin-up girls (Betty Grable was the most popular)...

The Varga girls became so popular that from 1942-1946, due to a high volume of military demand, “9 million copies of the magazine-without adverts and free of charge was...

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suzannelucas | Student

The poster stirs Paul deeply because it reminds him of the beauty and happiness that can in fact exist in a life not dominated by war. It reminds him of all the good things he associates with past. It reminds him of the possibility of true love rather than mere sex. The girl in the post is the antithesis of the prostitutes with whom he consorts during wartime. For him, she represents everything that is ideal and wonderful in life.

Thank you. I find all your comments so insightful.