Deconstruction Essay

Powerful Essays
Gajan Langeswaran
Mr. Devereux
ENG 4U0
May 11, 2013
The Role of Binary Linguistic Oppositions in the Context of War
Most novels on war usually perceive only one side in the realm. An author like Timothy Findley can make a novel less about war but more about the physiological impact on ones mind because of war. The Wars is a very powerful and disturbing book with plenty of linguistic contexts. Timothy Findley’s Governor General's Award-winning novel of the First World War tells the story of Robert Ross, a young Canadian who enlists himself in the army after the death of his sister, Rowena. Robert has to cope with challenges of war, and make the transition into manhood and develop new beliefs in order to survive the war. Robert encounters numerous challenges along his journey that forces Robert to re-evaluate the truths that serve as the foundation of his life. This is what exemplifies deconstructive criticism; the moment one questions their truths, and realizes that there is no one central truth, instead, many linguistic oppositions of the same event that changes according to one’s perspective. With the title of Timothy Findley’s novel being The Wars, many false interpretations are suggested as it is just another book about World War I; however, The Wars, by Timothy Findley, digested through a lens of Deconstructive Criticism, one is able to surpass this barrier to find the ambiguities and contradictions of the internal battles illustrated in the novel: the psychological battle of sanity and insanity, the distinction of friend and enemy, and the illusion and reality of the war itself.
There are several indications throughout the novel, which suggests the ambiguities of the psychological battle of sanity and insanity, that one encounter within themselves. The deconstruction of sanity and insanity starts to become apparent in the novel after the physical war comes into play; the physical aspect of war serve as fuel that starts internal conflicts in the minds of



Cited: "Deconstruction." Benet 's Reader 's Encyclopedia (1996): 259. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 24 Mar. 2013. Epstein, Robert. "Literal Opposition: Deconstruction, History, And Lancaster." Texas Studies In Literature & Language44.1 (2002): 16. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 24 Mar. 2013. Findley, Timothy. The Wars. New York: Delacorte Press/S. Lawrence, 1977. Print. Leitch, Vincent B. “The Book of Deconstructive Criticism.” Studies In The Literary Imagination 12.1 (1979):19. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 20 Mar. 2013 Mansfield, Nick. "Under the black light: Derrida, war, and human rights." Mosaic [Winnipeg] 40.2 (2007): 151+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 23 Mar. 2013.

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