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.

160 thoughts on “No Man’s Land–Not Even Paul’s

  1. I really like how you connected Paul and No Man’s Land, which is something that I did not even draw connections to. I think this utter destruction and nothingness really relate to Paul and him not having anything left to die for.

    I was also thinking about Paul and him dying for this nothingness compared to the deaths of the others and his comrades. Most veterans do not see themselves as heroes, once they have come out of active duty, they just see it as they have done their job. This idea struck me when I thought about how the deaths of all of the other men have more emphasis from Paul: he sees them as heroes. He thinks they deserve recognition for what they did. But for Paul’s death to be so calm and almost nondeserving it shows how Paul does not see himself as a hero, he was just doing what was expected even if he disagreed.

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