Timothy Findley uses fire in his book, The Wars, to portray some of the significances to Robert Ross's life. Robert Ross is the main character that faces many problems. Throughout the book Robert witnesses and is purified, and also witnesses and is destroyed by many experiences. Throughout the story fire consumes almost every aspect of Roberts life.
Life during a war was literally a living hell for those who had to fight. War was like hell in the sense of the searing heat. The invention of the flame thrower brings a lot of fear to the soldiers. Flame throwers and bombs both are used in the destruction of much of Europe, and Robert himself. "There [are] flames all around [Robert] and [Robert's] clothing [is] on fire." (Findley 213) In this quote Robert is trying to escape the burning building, and save all of the horses at the same time.
Mickle, a fellow officer pursuing Robert, orders the doors open on the
barn Robert is hiding in so that Robert can escape the flaming barn,. Robert comes riding out on a blazing mere, while he himself is a flame also. Robert survived his burns for a short period of about six years.
The second examples of fire in this story is having to watch as their friends "were blown apart where they stood - blown apart by the combustion." (Findley ) The shelling and gun fire of trench warfare killed many men. The fear of fire reverts many of the already young men into helpless children. The fire totally destroys them both mentally and emotionally. While Robert is being shelled, he rescues the horses; he is scrambling in a mad frenzy. He manages to stampede the horses into a different barn further from the shelling. While he...