War is a fact of life. As long as there are humans, there will be war. In past times, for a man to go to war, it was viewed as romantic and heroic. But, these ideas have faded and vanished throughout the course of the 20th century. War can be horrific, like a bad nightmare, and can easily break the human spirit, which is not a t all fragile. In his novel, "The Wars", Timothy Findley develops the idea that war, in and of itself, is meaningless, unjustified, and irrational. PART I "The Wars" is a story told by means of a (fictional) historic research document. The plot is pieced together from different accounts and recollections from a handful of different fictional people. The effect of this technique is that the author cannot include his own opinions or emotions, and all accounts are viewed as straightforward, retold facts. This forces the reader to make their own assumptions and form better opinions of the unfolding plot. It is a technique that is more mentally stimulating to the reader. Moreover, it causes a greater immersion in the plot using intense imagery. PART II Robert Ross is a sensitive, solitary, 19-year old man who has had a somewhat difficult past. He goes to fight in World War 1 as an escape, hoping to change his life and improve himself. However, the series of events that he experiences are able to accomplish nothing more than to confuse him and cause him physical and mental anguish. PART III
In training, Robert begins a process of self-discovery. At first, he feels like he can be anything that he wants. "He wanted no attachments yet. What he wanted was a model. Someone who could teach him, by example, how to kill. Robert had never aimed a gun at anything. It was a foreign state of mind. So what he wanted was someone else who had acquired that state of mind: who killed as an exercise of the will." Robert imagines himself as a ruthless machine of war, but it does not take long for him to realize that he was not born to kill. (This is...
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