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An Analysis of the Characters and Battles in All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
Word Count: 6,496
The chapter begins with German soldiers at rest after fourteen days of fierce battle on the Western Front A double ration of food has been prepared so the soldiers are eating their fill Paul Baumer the protagonist and narrator of the novel watches in amazement as his friends Tjaden and Muller eat another helping he wonders where Tjaden puts all the food for he is as thin as a rail Baumer is only nineteen years of age He enlisted in the German infantry because Kantorek his high school teacher had glorified war and talked him into fighting for the fatherland Kropp Behm and Leer former classmates of Baumer were also persuaded by Kantorek to join the infantry They are all now fellow soldiers along with Tjaden Westhus Detering and Katczinsky After a good nights rest the soldiers are in line for breakfast They are overjoyed that the cook has made food for one hundred and fifty men when there are only eighty of them they again envision being able to eat all that they want The cook however says that he can only distribute food for eighty but the soldiers argue and overrule him After breakfast mail is distributed Baumer and his friends stroll over to the meadow located near the latrines Baumer muses how embarrassed all of them were in the beginning to use the latrines that offered no privacy Now all their modesty has vanished Still he believes that a soldier is on friendlier terms than other men with his stomach and intestines Three quarters of his vocabulary is derived from these regions Kantorek has written and sent a letter in which he calls his past students now soldiers Iron Youth Ironically the young men all of them around twenty years of age are no longer youth war has forced them to grow up beyond their young years The old classmates talk about how they had idolized Kantorek while they were in school
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