Authors can use the point of view in their stories to achieve a specific purpose. It can convey a specific message that the author wants to make. One of the point-of-views used is first person. You get to see through the protagonist's eyes as well as into their minds. You get to see everything the way they would see it and what they are thinking about what you they are seeing and feeling. The point of view in the short story "War" by Timothy Findley, is effective at showing life through the eyes of a child by showing Neil's actions, emotions, and thoughts.
The author shows life as a child through his actions. "I didn't know how I got there but I ended up in the barn. I was in the hayloftÃ¢ÂÂ¦" This shows life as a child by showing first hand the way he reacts to the news he gets about his father going to war.
It shows that he thinks hiding in a hayloft will make his father stay home from war, which most people would know wouldn't work but being a young child and not knowing any better he tries it. "I decided to make a dash for it. But I had to ward off my father first-and so I threw that stone." This shows the actions he is willing to take to hide from his father. He is willing to cause physical pain to his loved ones just to stay hidden. His actions are not for no reason thought; other things like his emotions cause them.
The author also shows life as a child through Neil's emotions. "Ã¢ÂÂ¦ I'll tell u right now, I am [afraid of the dark]Ã¢ÂÂ¦ you never know what you are going to step on next and I always thought it would be a duck." This shows the fear the young boy has about things most people would not find frightening. He really hates ducks and is afraid to step on then at the bottom of the ladder because he cannot see anything in the dark Things only young children could find frightening. "I didn't want to throw stones at all of them. I certainly didn't want to hit my motherÃ¢ÂÂ¦" This shows the love he has for his mother because he is willing to spare her from is attack. He is willing to hit anyone else with a rock just not his mother because he loves her too much. His emotions are not the only thing causing his strange actions though; they are also caused by his thoughts.
Finally the author shows life as a child through his thoughts. "And I'd had it all planned how I'd really surprise my dad and turn out to be a skating champion and everything and now he wouldn't even be there to see. All because he had to go sit in some trench." This shows how he is more concerned with little things, like his skating, then the fact that his dad is going to war and might never come back. "The funny thing was that at that moment I'd forgotten why I was against him. I got so mixed up in all that Field Marshal stuff that I really forgot all about my dad and the army." This is what he was thinking about as he was hiding in the hay in the barn waiting to throw a rock at his father. He forgot why he was hiding he just knew he couldn't let his dad get to him. Even if that meant hurting him, waging war against him to keep him away.
Timothy Findley uses point of view in "War" effectively to show life through the eyes of a child, Neil, by showing his actions emotions and thoughts. You get to see his side of the story and the reasoning behind the things he does. That is the advantage to using first person. The point of view lets the author provide a desired effect. Whether it be suspense or understanding of what is going on it is all used to achieve the authors purpose.