90 pages • 3 hours readErich Maria Remarque
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Chapter Summaries & Analyses
After the intense scenes of the previous chapter, the men have returned from the front and are now in relative security. The narrative in this chapter begins with a description of the ways the men deal with the perpetual problem presented by lice. While this happens, Muller asks members of the platoon what they intend to do when the war is over. The men do not have imaginative answers, and their responses indicate that they have not given much thought to the proposition. They figure their options are limited, and they tend to accept that if they do return from the war, their lives will likely involve becoming laborers of some sort.
Himmelstoss reappears in this chapter, and the men are none too impressed by his presence. They show him disrespect and are antagonistic toward him. Tjaden is especially confrontational and earns himself a court-martial for his insubordination. When Himmelstoss is asked if he has been to the front, he has no answer and instead leaves the men. The prior conversation continues for a while and later, the court-martial takes place. Tjaden and Kropp are given light sentences of confinement, and the squad is able to visit the two men.