Remarque’s novel supports, in many ways, William Tecumseh Sherman’s famous quote that war is hell. In what ways does the novel manage to do this? How is the new technology of war – machine guns, gas, tanks, heavy shells – contributing to this hellish experience?
In what ways does war make those who fight both see their enemies as human but also act in inhuman ways themselves? There are many scenes to consider in respect to this, but one scene that could potentially serve as a compelling contrast is Paul’s scene in the trench with the dead French soldier. Another scene worth considering is Kantorek’s letter and the soldiers’ reaction to it.