Book Analysis: The Wars

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The Wars
There are numerous passages in the novel itself which might appear quite ordinary; nevertheless, with further assessment, one will find that there are many different ways to understand them. The Wars is a story which demands an energetic reading experience in order to fully understand the novel. An example of an act in the novel which requires energetic reading is when Mrs. Ross (Roberts’s Mother) is talking to Robert while he is having a bath, “We're all cut off at birth with a knife and left at the mercy of strangers. You hear that? Strangers... well-you can go to hell. I'm not responsible. I'm just another stranger. Birth I can give you-but life I cannot. I cannot keep anyone alive” (The Wars by Timothy Findley, page 23). If taken factually, it could be understand as: if Robert chooses to go to war, then his mother cannot guard him. However, if a vigorous reading experience is being had, it could be understood completely differently. Once man is born, it is up to him to set his own path. Since Robert is clever to think for himself, his mother is no longer dependable for his actions. This is an example of text with multiple layers, or heteroglossia. To further ambiguous the novel, it is told from many different perspectives. Although it may go back and forth between time periods, the novel is still understandable to the readers and viewers. In the first three chapters alone, there are examples of non-linear chronology. It jumps from the archivist to a period before the war, and then to Marian Turner who is a survivor of both wars. Timothy Findley has written a complex novel which requires the reader to be fully awake. In order to completely comprehend the novel, one must put aside their literal senses and think existentially towards the novel.

This site passage highlights the main focus, “ Twenty feet away, Robert sat on his haunches watching them. His pistol hung down from his fingers between his knees. He still wore his uniform with its torn...
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