All Quiet on the Western Front

What does Paul mean when he says they become human animals?


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Paul notes that being on the front causes a change in the soldiers' identities. The men become tense, alert, intuitive..... they wait and watch, keeping themselves close to the ground and hoping to stay out of sight. Paul says that to seek the earth for protection is an "animal instinct," and says the soldiers become "human animals" on the front.


All Quiet on the Western Front