All Quiet on the Western Front

why does paul refer to his generation as a waste land

all quiet on the western front ch.1

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Paul's generation are merely children when they go to war. The war is all they know. They joined as mere boys, virgins with rifles. Their family are their comrades in arms. Paul in fact says he has more in common with the enemy soldier than he does with people in civilian life. Leaving the war, they would be lost souls as civilians who were robbed of their youth.