All Quiet on the Western Front Chapter 10
Compared to other chapters the language used is more engaging and assay the emotional experience of the war not only by soldiers but by civilians caught in the crossfire. However the first half of this chapter focuses on a lighter note with the group guarding a supply dump also giving them a chance to sleep and eat; Remarque overemphasizes the fact that sleeping and good food is a luxury to the soldiers. Bitter comical moments seem to take place in the start of this chapter which is sour but overall release from the depressing tone in other chapters.
However their ‘luxury’ lives up to the name and ends suddenly when the enemy sees the smoke rising from the chimney and they are bombed; the food however was able to be eaten while they were stuck in the dugout. The structure of this chapter is like a build up to something big where for example they get all these ‘luxuries’ at the start only to be brought up to Kropp (with Paul going with) to the hospital.
The hospital is a pivotal point in this chapter and Remarque bursts whatever bubble his readers may have regarding convalescence and war hospitals. The ironic concept that Remarque describes is that ‘hospital’ is meant to be the place of healing or escaping the grim environment of the trenches however it is portrayed as quite the opposite as Paul describes it as worse than the trenches “who knows what you will get when you get back to the front” The despite nature of the troops that have such little strength left in them, dying to get home; are even questioning whether the front is better than the hospital. Paul wonders again in this chapter what will happen to his generation after the war.
As Paul recovers enough to walk about the hospital, he analyses the impact of the war from another perspective. The experience of seeing so many hideous wounds, so many groaning, dying men forces him to ponder the great waste of the war. You also see Paul speaking for Remarque