The scene where Paul kills the soldier was extremely emotional. While hiding in the trench Paul devised a plan to kill in case an enemy gets into his trench. Paul’s plan was to stay alive and the only way to do that was to kill anyone who got into his hiding place. Unfortunately one of the enemy soldiers did get into the trench and Paul stabbed him multiple times. This was the first time where Paul felt any guilt towards killing a man. It is interesting because before his time of leave he was so used to people dying all of the time that it no longer phased him unless it was someone he was close with. Yet, after stabbing this soldier he felt extremely remorseful even though he did not know him at all.
In this scene Paul is thinking of the type of life that that soldier led and realizes that he has a family at home that will no longer see him. That realization breaks him because he then sees the soldier as a human that has the rights to live just as much as he does. Paul tries to make himself feel better by saying that he will give money to his wife and write her letters yet he knows that he will never do any of this. However, at that moment Paul is grasping for anything to feel some sort of relief. I found it very emotional because we all struggle with thoughts of regret and his pain really illustrated how he was completely broken from the war.
On a side note, this probably meant nothing but I just want to put it out there just in case. In this same scene, Paul says that the enemy soldier died around 3pm. I found that interesting because Jesus Christ also died at 3pm and as we discussed before a soldier dying for his country can be paralleled to Jesus dying on the Cross as a sacrifice to save people from Hell. On top of this when Paul questions that since he killed the soldier that maybe his wife is now his. This reminded me of Jesus giving his Mother to St. John and all of us as he was dying on the Cross. Not sure how that would connect to this scene, maybe to further show how in a sense that soldier was a sacrificial lamb too? I’m not sure but that part in the Bible immediately came to mind when I read this scene. Any thoughts?