What incidents in CHapter 11 show that the men's nerves are fraying? What metaphor does Remarque use to make this same point?
Answers 1Add Yours
Paul and the soldiers, worn down, have stopped counting the weeks. The men have lost their original distinctions and have blended in with each other. Paul believes they have done this as a means of self-preservation--from insanity, desertion, and death. They remain hardened and closed off, but occasionally a dangerous "flame of grievous and terrible yearning flares up" and prove to the men that their behavior is "artificial."
Müller was shot point-blank in the stomach. Before he died, Müller gave Paul his boots--originally Kemmerich's. Paul has promised to give them toTjaden next. The men are starving, and so much "substitute stuff" has been mixed in with their food that they are constantly ill. Their depleted weaponry is falling apart. The men regale each other with stories of injustice in the army. Tanks have become brutal machines of war. Paul sees no possibilities for the men other than "Trenches, hospitals, the common grave."
"We are little flames poorly sheltered by frail walls against the storm of dissolution and madness, in which we flicker and sometimes almost go out."
Gradesaver/ All Quiet on the Western Front