Paul is constantly referring to himself as old in the book. The aspects of war have changed Paul and the way he thinks. There are a couple of reasons why Paul keeps referring to himself as old. First of all, Paul knows that he could die any day because he is constantly in the trenches facing enemy fire. Another reason why Paul considers himself old is because soldiers even younger than himself surround him. Paul says, "they are about two years younger than us". (Remarque, 35) Between the combination of knowing you could die any day and being around younger soldiers than him make him feel a lot older than he really is. He feels like a veteran compared to all the young soldiers he is working with.
Paul says in the story "A hospital alone shows what war is." This is very true because pretty much all that happens in a hospital in the war is death. There are people dying left and right and it really shows what war is all about. There is constantly people dying and suffering with terrible wounds. People getting things amputated, "for everyone knows that the surgeons in the dressing stations amputate on the slightest provocation." (Remarque, 242). So pretty much the same thing that happens on the battlefield happens in the hospitals, death. For death is really the only consistent thing in the war.
While Paul starts convulsing after swallowing gas and thinks about what would of happened if they had returned home in 1916. Considering his experience on the front Paul is feeling hopeless and doesn't believe that he can make it. After all he is broken, rootless, and weary from the war. Also he is convulsing and about to die so he is obviously feeling hopeless because he really has almost no chance to live. He is also feeling like all this time in the war is pretty pointless since he doesn't even know what the war is about. He has been out there risking his life everyday for a reason that he doesn't even know.
Paul has two friends in the story that...
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