No Man’s Land–Not Even Paul’s

I was really interested in the idea brought up in class about “there’s nothing left for Paul to sacrifice for.” The whole time we were discussing it, I couldn’t help but think that I’ve heard that idea before (in some capacity at least) relating to WWI. It wasn’t until I sat down in my next class (I’m frantically trying to type this before my professor arrives so please excuse the brevity) that I realized what it was. No Man’s Land. Paul having nothing to sacrifice for was a metaphorical reference to a literal part of the war–No Man’s Land.

Image result for No Mans Land western front

No Man’s Land

I found that the photo above elaborates a lot on this point. As the war goes on, this area becomes more and more degraded and we can look at this as a metaphor for Paul. The longer he is involved in the war, the more his mind deteriorates. He becomes the war.