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

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What are examples of literary devices in Chapter 8 and 9 in All Quiet on the Western Front?

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Literary devices such as simile, metaphor, onomatopoeia, and metonymy help create the fog of war in Chapters 8 and 9.

A literary device can be almost anything that is used to describe and add detail to a piece of writing.  For example, a literary device might include figurative language or sound devices.

Let’s consider some examples of figurative language.  Figurative language might include a comparison, such as the simile in Chapter 8.  A simile compares two things indirectly, using “like” or “as” to make the comparison.  Look how Paul compares the sand to something generated in a laboratory.

Looked at so closely one sees the fine sand is composed of millions of the tiniest pebbles, as clear as if they had been made in a laboratory. (Ch. 8)

Another simile is used a few lines later, when he describes the trees changing color and says that the shadow moves “like a ghost” and compares the Russian prisoners to Saint Bernard dogs.  These similes allow the reader to picture images very well.  This mental picture, called imagery, is what makes the writing come alive.

Another literary device is repetition.  Repetition is the process of repeating something for effect.  In this case, Remarque describes the Russian prisoners very effectively through the use of repeating the word “broad.”

It is strange to see these enemies of ours so close up. They have faces that make one think--honest peasant faces, broad foreheads, broad noses, broad mouths, broad hands, and thick hair. (Ch. 8)

Though Paul has emphasized how the prisoners have gone through the garbage like dogs, looking for whatever might be left there, this description humanizes them.  The reader knows that Paul does not understand the enemy, and struggles with coming face to face with them in this way.

Moving on to Chapter 9, in addition to similes, you can also find metaphors.  A metaphor is different from a simile because it does not make an indirect comparison. ...

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