What does Paul's room represent to him in All Quiet on the Western Front?It's somewhere in Chapter 7.... I can't find it though.

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Paul's room represents to him the "Life of (his) Youth." When he comes home on leave, he sits in his room, waiting for his old life "who are care-free, beautiful," to take him up again, but tragically, he discovers that he cannot find his way back.

Paul's room is filled with the accoutrements of his old life. He had been but a youth when he became involved in the war; he had been only a student. Paul sits on the old "brown leather sofa" in his room and his eyes peruse the pictures he once cut out of newspapers and pinned on the walls, drawings and postcards "that have pleased (him)," and shelves and shelves of books. Paul reminisces that he "used to live in this room before (he) was a soldier," and strives desperately to "think (him)self back into that time." As he looks out the window and sees the idyllic scene accented by "the rising spire of the church," he senses that here, "nothing is changed;" peace and tranquility remain.

Paul wants more than anything to experience the "quiet rapture" that he used to feel, epecially when turning to the books he loves in this room, to recapture "the lost eagerness of (his) youth." Despite his longing, however, he finds only "a terrible feeling of foreignness," and realizes to his dismay that his experiences in the war have changed him so much that he will never again be able to recapture his old life, and the carefree innocence that once was his (Chapter 7).

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All Quiet on the Western Front

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