In Erich Maria Remarque’s novel of soldiers in the First World War, All Quiet on the Western Front, the importance of food cannot be overstated. In describing the preoccupation of soldiers living in filty, rat-infested trenches, with death a high probability, the one thing they can look forward to is eating. As Remarque’s narrator states,
“The soldier is on friendlier terms than other men with his stomach and intestines. Three-quarters of his vocabulary is derived from these regions, and they give an intimate ﬂavour to expressions of his greatest joy as well as of his deepest indignation.”
Consequently, the suggestion that there may be more food available than otherwise would be the case instills in the soldiers a certain glee and anticipation of being able to fill their stomachs. That there are more rations than should be the case, however, is the product of the consequences of war:
“Fourteen days ago we had to go up and relieve the front line....
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