90 pages 3 hours read

Erich Maria Remarque

All Quiet on the Western Front

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1929

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Chapter 3

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 3 Summary

Paul discusses the arrival of new recruits and shows the contrast between them and his more experienced company. Paul describes Kat in more detail, and we can see that he is a practical man who also knows many tricks, especially when it comes to securing food. Kat seems to know where to find the best food, and he is able to keep it a secret among his closest comrades.

Dialogue between Kat and Paul reveals a critical perspective: The men feel that they are losing the war. This is an important moment because as the story unfolds, it becomes increasingly apparent that this is true—it is not just Kat’s perception. In fact, much of this chapter is centered on the discussions amongst the men, and it reveals the cynicism that has grown as a result of their participation in the fighting.

The chapter concludes with a description of how the men devise a revenge plot against Himmelstoss, which they eventually carry out. The men decide to ambush the corporal, throw a bedsheet over him, and pummel him. Each of the men gets their cracks in, but it is Tjaden who has the most pent-up anger for the man.