The novel I am currently reading is: All Quiet On the Western Front. The quote below describes how Paul has just killed a man out of panic, impulse, and instinct. Paul is explaining how he notices the man is slowly dying, he feels bad and wishes he could help him. He wants to write to the mans family, and he experiences conflicting feelings about the action he has done.
“It is mad, what I do. But I must do something. I prop the dead man up again so that he lies comfortably, although he feels nothing any more.” pg. 221
When Paul is narrating about how he tries to care for the dead body, I find it striking that he wants to help the man, as he was Paul’s opponent. I also find the quote sad, as the details described in this event have helped me ‘see’ the scene clearly. But the thing I like about the quote, is the fact that Paul actually has some empathy for the enemy, unlike some of the other soldiers. He demonstrates many Christian principles such as: ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself.’ I think this shows that under all the military armour, Paul has a need for peace like all citizens of the affected countries in the war.