Paul is about to get something that he has only dreamed of for the longest time… leave. He is headed home from the front and finally getting some real down time. He dreams of seeing his father, mother, and sister again. As the train ride toward home progresses, he begins to see familiar landscapes, and the excitement begins to rise. But when he gets home, it is almost more than he has the strength for to walk up the stairs to his family. When he gets to the upper level, he learns that his mother is sick. She has been in bed for the longest time, but has been saving a few of his favorite items, just waiting for him to come home for a visit.
However when he gets home, he finds himself longing to be back on the front. He is not able to deal with the day to day jumble at home. Dealing with his mothers sickness, his fathers questions, and the general tone of the people that he used to know, it is almost a relief when his leave is over, and he can return to the front. He takes the few small gifts that his mother has put aside for him, and begins to think of his friends.
Back at the front, he relaxes, and settles back into the routine. He eventually makes his way back to his unit, and finds his friends. While talk is that they are moving to Russia, they find out that the Kaiser is actually coming to do an inspection. They are issued all new gear, and they take to drilling quite a bit to look sharp. After the visit, all of their new items are returned, and life returns to the dreary normal. They are getting ready to move back to the front…
This week we are reading Chapters 7-9
- Paul has a harder time at home than he thought. He talks about it being a mistake. Why?
- The book is beginning to push forward in a faster turn of events. Do you think the ending is predictable?
- This book has been said to be the “Greatest War Novel of All Time”. Do you agree?