I just finished the book and I have to vent a little.
Paul sacrificed almost everything he had for his country, his friends, his possibility of a normal life, his mind. And for what? Because high up people decided it was time to go to war then sent out the young to fight it for them. This novel had a real impact on me that I honestly didn’t think was going to happen at the start of this novel. The horrible hospitals and the good ones, the experiments on wounded soldiers, the friends he made, the friends he lost, the uncaring nature of many people, the good hearts of those who have kept their humanity, the self centeredness of the Sister who wouldn’t close the door favoring prayer or necessary sleep, shell shock, the god-awful warfare, the lies to authority figures (the inspection), The death and destruction of so many people and places. This novel showed us the good and the bad of WWI, and I can’t believe I never saw before how truly bad it was.
In the end, like many people, Paul doesn’t have much but his soul to hold on to after the war. This war didn’t have to happen. But it did and the effects of it were monstrous.