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A;; Quiet on the Western Front

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The record of several schoolmates who represent a generation destroyed by the dehumanization of World War I's trench warfare, All Quiet on the Western Front tells of their enlistment in the army at the urging of their teacher, Kantorek, whose wisdom they trusted. Paul BÐ'umer, a sensitive teenager, serves as central intelligence, the prototypical young infantryman whose youth is snatched away by the brutality of war.

Behind German front lines between Langemark and Bixschoote in 1916, only eighty of the original one hundred fifty soldiers of the Second Company remain fit for duty. Paul and his comrades have acquired a bit of battle experience, including the loss of Joseph Behm, the first of their group to die. Franz Kemmerich, his leg amputated, faces imminent death. A letter from Kantorek calling them "Iron Youth" stirs Kropp's anger.

The soldiers, recalling Platoon 9's brutal basic training in Klosterberg, abandon their idealism as a result of the sadistic tutelage of Corporal Himmelstoss. In its place, they evolve a strong comradeship, which bolsters and protects them far better than the now useless information they learned in school. Franz Kemmerich, Paul's friend, dies after the amputation of his leg. MÑŒller inherits Kemmerich's boots.

Kat, the shrewd, self-reliant scrounger, manages to supply his friends with beans and beef. Paul and the others, excited by news of Himmelstoss' arrival at the front, recall the night before they left the training camp, when they trapped their drill instructor in a bedspread and beat him.

Paul's unit, which includes some inexperienced recruits, lays wire at the front. As they wait for return transportation, a bombardment and poisonous gas barrage pin them in a cemetery, churning up corpses from old graves. At dawn, a truck returns the men to their billets.

Himmelstoss arrives and tries to ingratiate himself with his former drill students. The men ignore and abuse him. Himmelstoss succeeds in having Tjaden and Kropp punished for insubordination. Kat and Paul thwart a guard dog and steal a goose, which they roast and share with the others.

Second Company spends the summer near the front, fighting savagely with grenades, bayonets, and sharpened shovels. The thirty-two men who survive return to the rear in the fall to rest.

The company moves farther behind the lines than usual, where they eat, sleep, and spend time with willing French girls, whom they shower with gifts of food. Paul returns home for a seventeen-day leave. Alienated by battle trauma, he lacks ambition and is unable to enjoy the pleasures of his youth. He despairs at his mother's weakness but enjoys the humor of Mittelstaedt tormenting Kantorek,



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