Summary: All Quiet On The Western Front

Words: 1071
Pages: 5

Entry One - Page Numbers 7-8 - The Latrine Metaphor

In the beginning of the book, Paul expresses how he remembers that he was embarrassed when he was first informed that he, like the other recruits, was required to use the general latrine if he wanted to relieve himself. Looking back on the incident Paul states, “we have learned better than to be shy about such trifling immodesties.” (Remarque 8) Paul goes on to explain that the latrine is a “gossip-shop” where everything becomes beautiful and carefree in the world, despite the treacherous missions that the soldiers embark on, missions that are usually fatal according to future reading. Notwithstanding the reason that is provided by Paul, there is another meaning behind the latrine that persists
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Kantorek, the man who is selected to represent this thoughtless group of individuals, is made to seem like a person who never knew the first thing about war but was wholeheartedly ready to send others into the line of fire purely because of the misleading propaganda that had been shoved down his throat by a desperate government. Similar to the latrine mentioned in entry one, Joseph Behm is also a metaphor, he is a metaphor of innocence. Joseph Behm was shot during an attack and Paul was unable to bring him to shelter thus leaving his innocence on the field of battle. That afternoon his innocence still lingered but before Paul could fully regain it and hold onto for at least a little bit longer it is destroyed by the horror of war. With Paul’s innocence left on the battlefield, never to be retrieved, he is forced to realize what the war truly is and to ignore the false information that he was told. With Paul’s loss of innocence he is forced to recognize that alone he must trek through the bloody field of death and alone he will have to deal with the decisions that he will make to