“How could you be my enemy?”

I want to open a spot for discussion here.

In chapter nine, Paul achieves his first personal kill in the war by mortally wounding a French soldier. Instead of leaving him to die, however, Paul is overcome with immense guilt and tries to make the man’s passing comfortable- or about as comfortable you can be on the battlefield.

The point of interest is the little speech he gives after the soldier dies. He claims to have finally seen that this man wasn’t just an enemy soldier, but a person with a family and a life just like him.

“Why do they never tell us that you poor devils are like us… that we have the same fear of death… how could you be my enemy?”

We have talked about desensitization and the “spell” of it being broken in class. Only instead of it happening at home, it’s happened to Paul on the battlefield. Despite everything Paul has been through at this point, has the war been made more real for him? Paul no longer considers himself a child- the war has changed him- but had he still held a certain ignorance that killing soldier killed as well? Does the fact he decides not to keep the promises he made the dead soldier subvert any sort of realization he may have had?

167 thoughts on ““How could you be my enemy?”

  1. What I find most interesting here is when Paul is broken out of the “spell” as we have called it. He came to this moment of realizing that all the men out here fighting all have someone back home they are trying to get back to, they were someone’s son, brother, husband, and maybe even father. This snap back into ‘reality’ I guess you could say, or moment of understanding shows how Paul kind of questions the war and its intent now. To me, even for a minute, it showed the more human side of Paul and not the mechanical or animalistic one we have talked about in class.

  2. I definitely agree with you that this scene showed the “spell” of war, or perhaps it would be more accurate to claim that it was the “spell” of the propaganda, that was broken for Paul. To me, I feel that through his internal dialogue we have access to the way he feels he needs to think (and has overtime learned to think in such way), and then we also have access to his real thoughts. Paul, who I feel can be seen to represent his generation as a whole, has been thrust into a situation that no one should ever experience. At a crucial time in his life, instead of being given the freedom to develop his own identity, he was thrust into the trenches. His options were to either mentally and physically toughen up, or have a higher chance of dying or losing his mind. He did what was told of him and I feel that from the time he goes and comes back from leave, to the end of the novel, reality hits him harsher than any propaganda can. With that in mind, back on the front, he has to ignore what he has come to learn about reality and shift back into a soldier mentality. It is not until he is isolated, with only the dying soldier he attacked as company, that he is allowed to act on and allow himself to analyze the reality of the situation. In this scene, just as others have already pointed out, he is finally allowed to be (and feel) human.

  3. Pingback: ventolin no prescription

  4. Pingback: lowest price on generic cialis 40mg

  5. Pingback: buy naltrexone online usa

  6. Pingback: chloroquine otc

  7. Pingback: buy cialis

  8. Pingback: careprost better to buy

  9. Pingback: how long does cialis last

  10. Pingback: buy hydroxychloroquine online

  11. Pingback: mymvrc.org

  12. Pingback: order Cialis 40mg

  13. Pingback: how to buy sildenafil 25 mg

  14. Pingback: cheap lasix 40 mg

  15. Pingback: where to buy lexapro 5mg

  16. Pingback: cialistodo.com

  17. Pingback: bactrim 800/160 mg for sale

  18. Pingback: cost of catapres 100mcg

  19. Pingback: how to purchase ceftin

  20. Pingback: cost of celebrex

  21. Pingback: celexa 10 mg united states

  22. Pingback: cheapest claritin

  23. Pingback: best slots to play online

  24. Pingback: play casino online

  25. Pingback: gambling games

  26. Pingback: rivers casino

  27. Pingback: casino slot

  28. Pingback: empire casino online

  29. Pingback: real money online casino

  30. Pingback: jackpot party casino

  31. Pingback: car insurance usaa

  32. Pingback: online car insurance quotes

  33. Pingback: cure car insurance

  34. Pingback: car insurance quotes in michigan

  35. Pingback: car insurance quotes for young drivers

  36. Pingback: rbc car insurance

  37. Pingback: car insurance online now

  38. Pingback: instant payday loans online

  39. Pingback: installment loans online loans

  40. Pingback: illinois quick loans

  41. Pingback: bad credit loans bad credit loans

  42. Pingback: payday loans san bernardino

  43. Pingback: difference between cbd oil and hemp oil

  44. Pingback: cbd oil side effects

  45. Pingback: cbd oil for anxiety

  46. Pingback: cbd oil for pain for sale

  47. Pingback: cbd oil for anxiety

  48. Pingback: mymathlab answers to homework

  49. Pingback: school assignments

  50. Pingback: how to write an intro for an essay

  51. Pingback: custom essay writer

  52. Pingback: essay writer reviews

  53. Pingback: write my essays for me

  54. Pingback: essay writing services reviews

  55. Pingback: top 10 essay writing services

  56. Pingback: cleocin 300mg tablets

  57. Pingback: clomid united states

  58. Pingback: clonidine 0,1 mg nz

  59. Pingback: clozaril united kingdom

  60. Pingback: buy colchicine 0,5 mg

  61. Pingback: combivent 50/20mcg without a doctor prescription

  62. Pingback: compazine purchase

  63. Pingback: coumadin online

  64. Pingback: crestor 5mg cost

  65. Pingback: cymbalta 30 mg medication

  66. Pingback: dapsone caps no prescription

  67. Pingback: depakote 250mg price

  68. Pingback: differin without a prescription

  69. Pingback: where to buy diltiazem 90 mg

  70. Pingback: doxycycline 100 mg usa

  71. Pingback: dramamine 50mg tablet

  72. Pingback: elavil for sale

  73. Pingback: flomax online pharmacy

  74. Pingback: flonase nasal spray 50 mcg no prescription

  75. Pingback: garcinia cambogia caps generic

  76. Pingback: hyzaar 12,5mg purchase

  77. Pingback: imdur tablet

  78. Pingback: where to buy imitrex 50mg

  79. Pingback: imodium 2 mg medication

  80. Pingback: use this link

  81. Pingback: imuran cheap

  82. Pingback: indocin 75mg tablets

  83. Pingback: lamisil australia

  84. Pingback: levaquin 500 mg cheap

  85. Pingback: lopid no prescription

  86. Pingback: cheap macrobid

  87. Pingback: meclizine 25mg otc

  88. Pingback: how to buy mestinon 60 mg

  89. Pingback: micardis australia

  90. Pingback: mobic 15mg over the counter

  91. Pingback: order motrin 600mg

  92. Pingback: periactin 4mg without a prescription

  93. Pingback: prevacid 30 mg usa

  94. Pingback: cheapest prilosec

  95. Pingback: cost of procardia 30mg

  96. Pingback: how to purchase proscar 5mg

  97. Pingback: protonix 20mg for sale

  98. Pingback: provigil uk

  99. Pingback: pulmicort 100mcg no prescription

  100. Pingback: pyridium 200mg cost

  101. Pingback: reglan 10 mg generic

  102. Pingback: remeron australia

  103. Pingback: retin-a cream without a prescription

  104. Pingback: revatio without a prescription

  105. Pingback: risperdal 1 mg uk

  106. Pingback: cheapest robaxin

  107. Pingback: order rogaine 5%

  108. Pingback: where can i buy singulair 10 mg

  109. Pingback: skelaxin 400mg online pharmacy

  110. Pingback: how to purchase tenormin 100mg

  111. Pingback: cost of thorazine

  112. Pingback: toprol canada

  113. Pingback: tricor 200 mg australia

  114. Pingback: verapamil generic

  115. Pingback: wellbutrin 150 mg otc

  116. Pingback: how to purchase zanaflex 4mg

  117. Pingback: More hints

  118. Pingback: how to purchase zovirax

  119. Pingback: zyloprim usa

  120. Pingback: zyvox 600 mg purchase

  121. Pingback: sildenafil united kingdom

  122. Pingback: cheapest furosemide 100 mg

  123. Pingback: aripiprazole 15 mg without a prescription

  124. Pingback: pioglitazone online

  125. Pingback: spironolactone purchase

  126. Pingback: fexofenadine 180mg uk

  127. Pingback: glimepiride medication

  128. Pingback: how to buy meclizine

  129. Pingback: leflunomide 20mg uk

  130. Pingback: atomoxetine canada

  131. Pingback: order anastrozole 1mg

  132. Pingback: where to buy olmesartan 10mg

  133. Pingback: buspirone 10mg tablet

  134. Pingback: cefuroxime nz

  135. Pingback: cephalexin 500 mg pharmacy

  136. Pingback: ciprofloxacin coupon

  137. Pingback: clozapine pills

  138. Pingback: cost of warfarin

  139. Pingback: where can i buy rosuvastatin 10 mg

  140. Pingback: cheapest desmopressin 10 mcg

  141. Pingback: divalproex 250mg online pharmacy

  142. Pingback: acetazolamide without prescription

  143. Pingback: phenytoin 100 mg uk

  144. Pingback: doxycycline 100mg cheap

  145. Pingback: bisacodyl 5 mg tablets

  146. Pingback: venlafaxine uk

  147. Pingback: permethrin pharmacy

  148. Pingback: how to purchase erythromycin

  149. Pingback: estradiol over the counter

  150. Pingback: etodolac 400mg united states

  151. Pingback: how to buy fluticasone 50 mcg

  152. Pingback: alendronate without a doctor prescription

  153. Pingback: order nitrofurantoin

  154. Pingback: how to purchase glipizide

  155. Pingback: sumatriptan 50 mg over the counter

  156. Pingback: loperamide generic

  157. Pingback: azathioprine medication

  158. Pingback: how to buy propranolol 40 mg

  159. Pingback: buy indomethacin

  160. Pingback: lamotrigine 200mg nz

  161. Pingback: terbinafine prices

  162. Pingback: levothyroxine mcg usa

  163. Pingback: gemfibrozil pharmacy

  164. Pingback: clotrimazole without a doctor prescription

  165. Pingback: how to buy metoclopramide 10mg

  166. Pingback: does hydroxychloroquine help covid

Leave a Reply