Engulfed - an Essay on the Wars by Timothy Findley

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Engulfed An essay on The Wars by Timothy Findley Abby Bayat ENG 4U In Timothy Findley's novel, The Wars, every major event is subject to an element: fire, water, earth and air. These elements, brought to a philosophical stand point by the ancient Greek philosopher, Empedocles, help represent unsaid emotions and Robert Ross' journey. Each element has its own form of creation and destruction and gives a wonderful intake of everything around Robert Ross. Together, they also become a great force to be reckoned with as well. Earth, air, water and fire; the four elements that frame the world in every being, come together in a destructive way to challenge and ultimately engulf Robert Ross. In the fifth century B.C, there lived a Greek philosopher named Empedocles. He was well known in Sicily as a scientist and healer who stated that all matter is composed of four roots. To him, air and fire ere outward elements, whereas earth and water are inward. He also associated the elements with Greek gods and goddesses that best represented the elements best. Elements were not just physical matter but also a spiritual factor and essence. He represented Zeus with air, Hades with fire, earth with Hera and water with Netise. Empedocles was also certain that the four elements explained the two governing principles of the universe, Love and Strife which can also be viewed as creation and destruction. In the work, Empedocles of Akragas by Jesse Weidman, Mr. Weidman states: “Empedocles explains the nature of the universe through the interaction of two governing principles, Love and Strife, on four primary elements. Unlike his predecessors, Empedocles claims that there are four elements in the universe; air, fire, earth, and water. Particular and indestructible, these elements foreshadow later developments in atomic
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