The correlation between animal and human traits in the Wars Human nature can often be represented through animals as they convey similar qualities in their behaviour. Consequently, they can reflect a character’s nature and personalities. This link between humans and animals is continually depicted in Timothy Findley’s The Wars. Robert Ross’ strong connection with the animals is conveyed in his encounters with a coyote, horses and rabbits in the novel. This link helps in his development and impacts his character as he familiarizes himself with the animals that surround him.
Robert’s connection with the animals develops during his numerous encounters with them. In the process of becoming a soldier, Robert takes a run out in the prairie where he joins a coyote. This encounter with the coyote soon becomes a significant step in Robert’s understanding of himself. Consequently, the coyote helps illustrate Robert’s character as he establishes a bond with the animal. When Robert spots the coyote, he decides to follow him and observe his actions from a distance. He watches as it passes two gophers and does not even “pause to scuffle the burrows or even sniff at them. It just goes right on trotting – forward towards its goal” (26). This teaches Robert that a hunter must be focused on his destination or target and kill only in order to survive. This encounter with the coyote has a profound impact on Robert as he applies its way of hunting on to his own life. As Robert is able to see himself in the coyote, lonely yet independent, he learns that focusing on one’s goal is the path that must be taken to survive. The journey with the coyote helps Robert establish a bond with the animal, which in turn enables him to discover himself through the coyote. Robert, like the coyote, isolates himself from other soldiers in an attempt to discover himself. Later that night Robert learns that he prefers the companionship of the coyote to other people as he finds himself "wishing that...
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