The Wars By Timothy Findley And Copenhagen: An Analysis

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Frederic Clemson Howe once said, “War demands sacrifice of the people. It gives only suffering in return.” This explains the situations of Robert Ross, Werner Heisenberg, and Niels Bohr. They all sacrificed, which only lead to suffering for all of them. Although one is a coming of age novel about a WW1 soldier and the other is a play about an imaginary meeting of WWII scientists, both The Wars by Timothy Findley and Copenhagen by Michael Frayn explore the ways in which war affects individuals through the evolution of character, their relationships, and the finale resolution of each text.

The evolution of Robert Ross in The Wars and Heisenberg and Bohr in Copenhagen demonstrate the effects war has on an individual. Robert had a coming of age in his novel. At the start of the novel Robert was a shy innocent kid. He suffers a great deal of guilt after his sister Rowena’s death. He was supposed to be looking after her but instead was “making love to his pillow.” This guilt led him to enroll in the army. The
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The two were great friends before the war. Heisenberg was a student of Bohr’s and this is where they became great friends. But their opposing views on the war lead to the break of their relationship. Heisenberg was helping the Germans, which Bohr did not like because the Germans had invaded Denmark. Then they had opposing views on the atomic bomb, which ended up switching as we found out at the end of the play. Heisenberg purposely messed up calculations so the Germans could not have an atomic bomb, knowing that Hitler was not afraid to use it to kill millions of people. Bohr originally opposed the idea of using the atomic bomb, criticizing Heisenberg for helping the Germans. But once Bohr escaped Denmark, he went to the United States to help the Allies with their atomic bomb. The war made these two scientist make tough decisions which lead to the end of their close

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