All Quiet on the Western Front

Why is the poster of such interest to the soldiers? Why do they tear off the part of the poster depicting the man? What does the poster symbolize to the men?

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The poster has a beautiful girl. They are just not used to seeing beautiful women. They tear off the man because he represents everything they are not. They are also not interested in him. He is clean, rich, cultured....The poster symbolizes their longings. The boys are virgins with rifles. The picture of the girl is their lost youth, their innocence wasted in the war.

Kropp and Paul's interest in the poster is simple; they're men, and the girl is beautiful..... in the eyes of a soldier she's perect.

The poster symbolizes the lives they no longer have. They don't get the pretty girl or the clean clothes; their lives aren't normal. They're soldiers.


All Quiet on the Western Front/ Chapter 7