The Wars Essay
Question #2: Discuss the three most significant events that you feel advance the plot in the novel The Wars.
“He paused for the barest moment looking at the whole scene laid out before him and his anger rose to such a pitch that he feared he was going to go over into madness.”(Findley, 203) The Wars is a novel by Timothy Findley and the novel describes the experiences of a Canadian soldier named Robert Ross in World War One who belonged in the Canadian Field Artillery. Robert Ross is a sensitive young man who experienced the violence of trench warfare. His father is very supportive of him but his mother avoids any confrontations with him. Later, he is accused of betraying his country. Robert Ross encounters many events that influenced his character and the decisions that he made. The three most significant events that advanced the plot are the deaths of Rowena and her rabbits, the destruction of the stained glass dugout, and the killing of his own Captain.
The death of Rowena is the first significant event in Robert Ross’ life that advanced the plot. Rowena is Robert Ross’ sister and she was born with hydrocephalic, a disease in which a person has an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the brain. When Rowena was twenty five years old, she died from an accidental fall. Robert regretted that she was not by her side to prevent her death. “Robert? Yes, Rowena? Will you stay with me forever? Yes, Rowena. Can the rabbits stay forever, too? Yes, Rowena.” (Findley, 17) Robert broke his promise that he will stay with her forever. It felt like Robert loss her mother as a result of being so irresponsible of being her guardian. “She stared at him for a long, long time and he stared back. When she smiled, he thought she was his mother. Later, when he came to realize she could not walk and never left the chair, he became her guardian.” (Findley, 7) Afterwards, Robert no longer knew how to behave or what to feel anymore. This kind of psychological pain was one of the main factors that motivated Robert to join the army since he did not fear death anymore. Furthermore, Robert wanted to join the army so that when he goes away, everyone will forget about what he did to Rowena and be proud for being so brave. Robert’s enlistment to the army was also inspired by a soldier who was ordered to kill Rowena’s rabbits. “He fell against the side of the car and part of his sight took in the soldier standing there, lighting a cigarette – and Robert yelled at him something like: ‘you bastard! Bastard! What are soldiers for?” (Findley, 20) He was jealous of this man because he could just walk away and not need to worry about the murder of a living being. This event was significant because if Rowena had not died, Robert would have never joined the army. The death of Rowena will ultimately cause Robert to have a young death.
The destruction of the stained glass dugout was another significant event that quickly exposed the men into the real dangers of war. The dugout was supposed to be a place to feel like home. “The dugout, in fact, was rather grand as dugouts go. Levitt’s assessment of its being civilized was proper. (Findley, 97) Once the dugout was destroyed, there was no place to hide from the perilousness of war. Robert Ross finally experiences the casualties of war because most of his men has either died or been severely injured. “He began to walk north-east, which is to say towards St Eloi where the whole town was blazing on the horizon, but after three hundred yards or so he gave that up. It was madness. The trench itself and all the communication trenches were clogged with dead and wounded…” (Findley, 127) “Robert almost loss his leg during this event. “Robert said his legs were just asleep and sat on the earth for a moment rubbing his shins.” (Findley, 124) It is because of the destruction of the stained glass dugout that Robert Ross had to go to the Signals office and meet his commander, Captain Leather. This event was compelling because if the stained glass dugout was still preserved, the men would still be living and fighting in the trenches.
The last most significant event that advanced the plot was Robert Ross’ murder of his captain, Captain Leather. Robert Ross wanted to save the horses. “Leather is insane,’ said Robert flatly. ‘It cannot be called disobedience to save these animals when they’ll be needed, for Gods sake, half-an-hour after this is over. And if we stay here, how can they avoid being killed?” (Findley, 202) On the other hand, Captain Leather was about to shoot Robert because he did not want him to free up the horses. “He was waving the gun in the air and trying to get through the circle of horses and mules so that he could draw a bead on Robert.” (Findley, 202) The shells eventually killed all the horses and mules. Robert was very enraged. He thinks that it was all Captain Leather’s fault so he killed him. “He paused for the barest moment looking at the whole scene laid out before him and his anger rose to such a pitch that he feared he was going to go over into madness… Leather rose to his knees and began to struggle to his feet. Robert shot him between the eyes.” (Findley, 203) This event was important because if Robert did not save the horses, Major Mickle would not have pursued and burned him in the barn. “It took some time, due to the confusion at Bailleul, to discover that the horses were indeed missing and that no authority had been given anyone to remove the m from the Military Compound… Once this was established – Mickle was commissioned to give pursuit to the renegade horse thief.” (Findley, 210) Robert could have lived a long life if he did not save the horses. The murder of his captain advances the plot to such a degree that it ended Robert’s life and the plot of the novel.
The deaths of Rowena and her rabbits, the destruction of the stained glass dugout and the murder of Robert Ross’ captain, Captain Leather are the three most crucial events that advance the plot in The Wars. If Rowena did not die, Robert Ross would not have been in World War One and the plot of the novel would be completely different. Robert could have survived the war if his dugout was not destroyed. The dugout was very safe with good living conditions. It was one of the best dugouts during the war. Most importantly, if the dugout was preserved, he would not need to meet Captain Leather at the Signals Office. Lastly, the story of Robert Ross’ life would be much longer if he did not kill his captain.
Is there anything I can do to improve the essay?
Re: The Wars Essay
The first thing to do is to break it up into paragraphs.
I could not read it in the present form.
It looks like a fillibuster.
Re: The Wars Essay
Not bad at all. These highlighted bits need to be revised. Your tenses are sometimes inconsistent, as are your pronouns.
Originally Posted by funzone36
The red highlights are essential changes.
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