"They have been killed once again; but each of them that was flung up saved one of us." (p.71) What is the significance of this quote in the book All Quiet on the Western Front?

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mizzwillie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the book All Quiet on the Western Front, the author describes the horrors of war to show his revulsion at the cost and brutality of war. This is just one of the quotes which emphasize how awful war was, especially when seen through the eyes of Paul Baumer, a young man just out of school.  The quote says that dead bodies of soldiers not yet recovered from the zone between the two sides are shot again, flinging their already dead bodies into the air. That is awful, but the good part is that each body which is flung into the air saves one of the living.  Some of the living soldiers would crawl under dead bodies as the only visible shelter from the constant barrage of gunfire and for others, the dead body which took the bullet is the bullet which didn't kill them.

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All Quiet on the Western Front

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