Chapter 1 Questions. Why do the men have a double ration of food? When they were at the front they were ‘taken by surprise by long-range shelling…’ (p2) and 70 men were killed. What is symbolic about Leer’s name?
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He had only been knocked unconscious when he was first shot. Then – because he had been blinded by the first shot – he was crawling around in no-man’s land and was killed before anyone could get out to fetch him. (p8)
‘thanks to him’ they had gotten their food ‘far too late, and cold into the bargain’ – because he did not want to bring his field kitchen to close to the shellfire (unlike some of the other companies). (p4)
Muller plans to keep Kemmerich’s boots for himself. This could be considered cruel because Muller is more worried about the boots, but the reality of it is that they see so much death out there, and for Muller to survive, he must look out for his own needs well beyond Kemmerich’s death.
In this case, he must consider how to replace his worn boots with Kemmerich’s before his are so worn out that he can’t function on the front.