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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What is the use of dreams in the book "All Quiet on the Western Front"? As in what are they used to portray...?

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Most often in All Quiet on the Western Front, dreams come in the form of daydreams or flashbacks.  Often, when Paul is "resting" on the front lines (on watch late at night, riding in a lorry, or during other high stress down time) he thinks back to his school days, the street where he grew up, and the way things used to be.

Generally speaking, these daydreams and flashbacks are used for a few purposes.  One, they are a mental release that Paul's mind provides from the unimaginably high stress he is under as a foot-soldier fighting for his life and the lives of others.  When things are chaotic (heavy bombardment, seeking shelter, etc.) the soldiers are "like animals" in that they are fueled by instinct and adrenaline.  That is why their...

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