The Wars Essay

2031 Words Mar 21st, 2013 9 Pages
The Wars by Timothy Findley

Novel Study

1. Journal Entries

Character Sketch

Robert Ross, the “nineteen years old” protagonist in Timothy Findley’s The Wars is:

-innocent: “Robert is easily bruised” this can be interpreted in the sense that Robert represents innocence which is can be easily corrupted by bad things such as war.

-introverted: “Robert avoided them through the journey-wanting to protect the last of his privacy”“he

was studious and careful: exact. He watched the men around him from a distance...he found excuses to keep them at bay”

-compassionate: Robert is compassionate towards the weak and helpless like his mentally challenged sister Rowena for whom he was a loving “guardian”. When he was forced to
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called out ‘Keep on going!’- ‘Don’t give up!’...Robert fainted. Just at the end of the 25th lap.” Even though Robert didn’t achieve his goal he got really close and he didn’t stop until he literally dropped, he didn’t give up.

Examination of a Literary Device

Symbolism, according to the Oxford Dictionary is the usage of symbols to express ideas and emotions. In The Wars, there are many symbols. War and animals are two symbols consistent throughout the entire novel. The war that is taking place is “the war to end all wars” otherwise known as World War I. The fact that the war was called this is ironic due to the fact that there was a second world war twenty-one years later. War can be defined as a struggle and/or a conflict between two opposing parties and this kind of war can not only be found in the war surrounding Robert but within himself. Robert goes to war although “he doubts the validity in all the martialling of men” after the death of Rowena and her rabbits. “No one made Robert feel he wanted to be with them all the time”, but with Rowena gone, Robert lacked a purpose, a large part of Robert had died with Rowena; he no one to dependant on him and no one there for him. Robert, angry, unsure and wanting to run away from his problems, enlists in the army as another way to him to run away from his own conflict, his own war (“go away...and surround himself with space”). By doing so, Robert only worsens his problem; just

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