Symbols of the Wars Essay

1088 WordsMay 10, 20145 Pages
Symbols of “The Wars” As the plural sign of “wars” in the title of this novel, it implies itself with a number of different conflicts. Obviously, there is the literal war of World War I. However, many people and families are experiencing problems at home during the war rages, which creates both external and internal struggles for each character, most especially Robert. In this novel, there is a great amount of symbolism used by Timothy Findley. One of the major symbolises about the different animals appears throughout the story. Findley uses animal imagery as a powerful method of reflecting Robert’s personality and the situations that he faces. Moreover, the animals are also used as symbol of hope amidst devastation. As Robert steps over the bodies of dead men in the battle field, he sees a rat struggling in wet earth, and he helps the rat and sets it free by thinking “here is something that is still alive” (127). In this case, the rat is a significant sign of life that comes from death. Another “image of serenity amidst holocaust” (Klovan, 63) is the little white cat cleaning its paws during a raid, which is symbolizing a simple, innocent and peaceful life, contrasts the dreary corruption of war. The bird is another animal that appears frequently throughout the story, notably in those dangerous situations that Robert is going to experience in the war. In the other word, the bird generally represents as a kind of warning and omens of peril. Each time for an attack coming, there are full of noises of the birds. In the scene of Robert is killing the German soldier as he thinks that man is reaching for his rifle. Eventually, Robert realizes that German soldier is actually reaching for a pair of binoculars to look at the birds flying overhead even though there is a sniper rifle right beside him, meaning that he could kill Robert and all the other soldiers if he wants
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