Think and Discuss Questions
PRINT or TPYE all Responses- you will need to answer these on a separate sheet…
Think and Discuss Questions
PRINT or TPYE all Responses- you will need to answer these on a separate sheet of
1. What is the setting of the opening of the novel and how does the narrator describe
the feelings of the men there?
2. Why do the men receive double rations when they return from the front lines?
3. As Franz Kemmerich lies dying in the hospital, which of his personal effects
become objects of concern?
4. How were “accounts squared” with Himmelstoss the evening before the men
came to the front?
5. In his second visit to see Kemmerich in the hospital what does Paul attempt to do
for his comrade and friend?
6. Describe Kat’s outstanding abilities.
7. Why do Paul and other former students remember their schoolmaster, Kantorek,
with such bitterness?
8. In your opinion, what enables men to hold themselves together in the face of the
crushing hardships of army life and war?
1. What duty is given to Paul and his comrades at the beginning of chapter 4?
2. What, supposedly, do the men become when they reach the front?
3. During the bombardment at the cemetery how do Paul and his comrades protect
4. The episode of the wounded horses is described in compelling detail. How does
the author use irony to increase the impact of this scene?
5. Describe the mood of the scene in which Paul and Kat roast, eat, and then share
6. Chapters 4-6 are filled with the violence of bombardment, attack, and counterattack. What results are achieved? What does this suggest about the war?
7. What aspect of the depiction of battle in chapters 4-6 had the greatest impact for
1. How has the relationship between Himmelstoss and the other men changed by
chapter 7?2. In what condition is Paul’s mother when he is reunited with her on his leave?
3. How does Paul explain Franz’s death to Mrs. Kemmerich?
4. What does Paul promise to the man he kills, Gerard Duval?
5. In chapter 7 how does Paul relate to his old room and belongings, and what does
this mean to him?
6. Characterize the quality of Paul’s communication with his family as well as the
other civilians he talks to while on leave.
7. Why is Paul “frightened” by his thoughts about the Russian prisoners he guards?
8. What connections can you find between the episode with the prisoners and Paul’s
later encounter with Gerard Duval?
9. What might have happened to Paul if he had pursued the effort to know the
human identity of those he was pledged to kill, as he had with Gerard Duval?
1. What job are the men assigned to at the beginning of chapter 10?
2. Why does Paul assume the French will not bomb the town that he is helping
evacuate and in which he gets wounded?
3. In chapter 11, what does Detering attempt to do and what is the result?
4. What becomes of the boots inherited from Kemmerich?
5. What is the mood of the description of the pig roast and its aftermath?
6. How do Paul and the other patients demonstrate comradeship while in the
7. With the loss of Kat, what must Paul face?
8. What does it mean for Paul to say that, “…it will seek its own way out, heedless
of the will that is within me” (chapter 12, last paragraph).
9. Paul dies on a day that is “all quit on the Western Front.” Find at least three
levels of meaning for the term “quiet” in this context.
10. In your judgment, is Paul’s death necessary to the conclusion of the novel? How
would the ending be seriously altered if the final two paragraphs were omitted?
Thinking About The Chapters:
1. In what way did the school master Kantorek contribute to the death of Joseph
2. Which of Paul’s comrades were his classmates before the war?Interpreting:
3. How does Katczinsky differ from the other men in his dealings with Ginger the
4. What good has come of the heavy casualties referred to at the beginning of the
5. Do you know a character in a book you have read or a film you have seen who did
something unpleasant to avoid being called a coward? Discuss.
1. What evidence do we have that Paul is interested in writing?
2. How does Paul react to the death of Kemerich?
3. How were Paul and his classmates changed by their army training?
4. Why does Himmelstoss especially dislike Paul and his friends?
5. Have you ever seen a TV show or film about a bully? How did this experience
compare to Paul and his friends? How did the film character resolve the problem?
Chapters 3 and 4:
1. How does Kropp propose to end the war?
2. How does Kat explain Himmelstoss’s bullying?
3. What does Paul mean when he says, “To no man does the earth mean so much as
to the soldier”?
4. Why is Detering so upset by the suffering of the horses?
Applying:5. Describe a difficult decision you have observed a character make in a film or TV
show make. Was the decision especially difficult because of the effect it might
have had on someone else?
Chapters 5, 6, and 7:
1. How does Paul’s response to the books in his room differ from his response to
them before the war?
2. How do Paul’s perceptions of the war differ from those of the German-Master and
3. Why do Paul’s memories awaken sorrow rather than desire?
4. Why does Paul say the soldiers would have despised themselves a few years ago
for being so easily contented with food and rest?
5. Describe the circumstances in a film or book you are familiar with in which a
frightening or unpleasant situation made a character feel close to a friend.
Chapters 8, 9, and 10:
1. What sort of trade goes on between the Russian prisoners and the local peasants?
2. How does Paul help Albert when the two men are wounded?
3. How does Kropp differ from the others when the men discuss the causes of war?
4. What does Paul mean when he says that “a hospital alone shows what war is”?
5. Have you ever observed a character in a film or book who was separated from a
close friend? How did he or she handle the situation?
Chapters 11 and 12:
Recalling:1. What is Kat’s argument for eating lightly during an enemy attack?
2. Why does Paul think the Germans are losing the war?
3. Explain Paul’s comparison between the soldiers and the Bushmen.
4. Why does Kat groan “at last—just at last” when he is wounded?
5. Have you ever seen a movie or TV show in which a character helped a friend to
overcome a major crisis? Explain how the character helped and discuss the effect
it had on the friendship.
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