All Quiet on the Western Front

by: Erich Maria Remarque

Chapter Two

1

Our early life is cut off from the moment we came here, and that without our lifting a hand. We often try to look back on it and find an explanation, but never quite succeed.

2

At first astonished, then embittered, and finally indifferent, we recognized that what matters is not the mind but the boot brush, not intelligence but the system, not freedom but drill.

3

He does not speak of his mother or his brothers and sisters. He says nothing; all that lies behind him; he is entirely alone now with his little life of nineteen years, and cries because it leaves him.