"The Wars" by Timothy Findley

Essay by mick14731High School, 12th gradeA-, December 2006

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In the novel "The Wars", Timothy Findly suggests that as a person is tested in life, there response to compelling circumstances show the nature of their character, the innocence or brutality with in them. Robert Ross, is the main character in the novel and goes through many character testing events throughout. war inherently changes people and Robert is no exception.

Rowena is Roberts handicapped older sister, she is a symbol of purity and innocence to Robert, and anchors him to kindness and compassion. Rowena is closely associated with the colour white, she is pictured with "white rabbits" and even at her funeral her "coffin [is] white'' in a blanket of snow. Roberts love for Rowena keeps him pure and focused and this is why he cares for her, Without Rowena Roberts life would have little direction, When Rowena dies, Robert is heartbroken, he feels responsible even tho his younger brother was to be watching her at the time.

"She fell." Robert felt that if he wasn't "making love to his pillows" he would have been there to stop this and his sister, the only person he ever loved, would still be alive. After her death Robert is confused and feels he must join the army to fight in Europe in an attempt to help the world regain the innocence it lost with Rowenas death.

The response to death tests the character of Robert throughout the novel; no more so than when he is the one who must kill. Robert is an innately kind person despite the fact he has had very few normal relationships. Everyone he has ever loved either can not return the sentiment or dies and leaves him alone in the world yet again. His first experience of lose is when his sister dies and he deals...