On the first page of chapter 15, in the first paragraph, Remarque uses the simile, "war is a cause of death like cancer and tuberculosis, like influenza and dysentery." This simile suggests that the soldiers have become so used to war and the deaths caused by war that they now seem as common place and inevitable as these diseases.
In the second paragraph of the first page, the metaphor, "Our thoughts are clay . . . moulded with the changes of the days," implies that the minds of the soldiers have become like an inanimate substance, moulded no longer by thoughts and feelings from within, but only by the events of the war from without. In this sense, the war has dehumanized the soldiers.
In the sixth paragraph of the first page, Remarque uses metaphors again to describe how close to death the soldiers are. Their lives are described as being "on the borders of death." Later in the same paragraph Remarque writes that everything not strictly necessary to survival becomes "buried in gloomy...
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