how doors the schoolmate Kantorek refer to his former students? why do Paul and Kropp scoff at the term Kantorek uses? how do the young men feel about the corporal himmelstoss? why?
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Kantorek refers to his former students as "the Iron Youth". Paul and Albert scoff at the label because of the irony of it all. Kantorek glorifies them as indestructible and valiant. The reality is much different. Young men turn into scared boys and die by the thousands. They are not made of iron, they are merely flesh and blood just trying to survive.