Response To Timothy Findley's The Wars

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Response to The Wars Timothy Findley’s The Wars is the story of a young Canadian man who goes off to fight in the First World War, his experiences both on and away from the front, and his one final act of defiance against the crazy world in which he is thrown. Robert Ross is a 19 year old who comes from a well-off family living in Toronto during the early 20th century. Feeling responsible for his sister Rowena’s death (she suffered from hydrocephalus) he enlists in the field artillery unit. While training in Alberta, he is coerced into going to a local whorehouse where he realizes that one of his comrades, Eugene Taffler, is a homosexual. After this incident, he and the rest of the Canadian Contingent set sail to England. While on the ship, one of his horses breaks a leg and he is forced to shoot it. This being the first time Robert has ever killed anything, he is extremely panicked; yet he completes the task. Sustaining an injury during the incident, Robert stays in a hospital accompanied by his friend Harris, who suffers from pneumonia. Harris later dies and on January 24, 1916, Robert arrives in France, heading for the trenches where the war is being fought against the Germans. En route, he accidently leads his convoy onto a dike that has a break in it. His life is threatened for the first time here when he almost drowns in mud and water. However, his comrades Poole and Levitt save him. Shortly thereafter, Robert and his fellow soldiers engage in trench warfare. During this period, he experiences air raids and a gas attack, both of which he manages to survive; the latter with the help of a German soldier whom he mistakenly kills. Soon after, Robert’s tour of duty is over and he takes up residency at Barbara d’Orsey’s home. A love affair develops between her and Robert to the detriment of Barbara’s younger sister Juliet, who is madly in love with him. After a
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