why did the students join the army
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The boys' teacher Kantorek glorifies the army. He perpetuates the myth of excitement and nationalism fir the defence of the motherland. The boys are swayed by his words. 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.