All Quiet on the Western Front: Assignment

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All Quiet on the Western Front: Assignment #3: Focus on Chapter 4

1. Paul feels alone in battle and his only friend and family seems to be mother earth. He finds comfort and protection with earth since he’s alone in battle and there’s nothing else protecting him except for earth’s materials like bushes and trees hiding him form the enemy. Like a mother would protect her son. I’m not sure if this has much to do with the Oedipus Complex but since Paul is loving the earth ever so passionately he probably subconsciously is yearning for something more than just a mother figure in his life.

2. I agree with Paul that humans have animal qualities that are unleashed during time of need. In nature, animals have to fight and hunt just to eat and survive. The same thing happens during battle. The soldiers have to kill without any remorse or thought. In battle, humans need to have no rationalization like animals. They also have to think quickly and follow their instincts. There is really no time to think about what to do next or anything. The only good human quality is logic. We can get ourselves out of sticky situations and with the human quality of logic and the animal qualities of instinct and awareness; that would make a really good soldier.

3. The reaction to the horses screams were horrifying. The soldiers just wanted to kill them and put them out of her pain so they couldn’t listen to their innocent cries. The animals didn’t choose to be there and they are defenseless against the army; which was some of the reasons why Detering was upset. Also another factor was that he extremely liked horses and to see something he loved so much in so much pain broke him up inside.
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