Analysis Of Timothy Findley 's ' The War '

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JiLien Liew
Dr. Daniela Janes
Narrative Devices used to Build a Reader-Narrative Attachment
Timothy Findley’s The War is a wartime novel that mainly chronicles the horrors of the First World War. The novel revolves around a young Canadian officer named Robert Ross and his experiences in trench warfare during The War to End All Wars. In The Wars, Findley effectively depicts the lasting impacts on those involved, not only including the physical injuries and lacerations from battle, but also the inner trauma sustained from the mental and emotional warfare while at war. What is interesting about Findley’s wartime novel is that he utilizes narrative devices to give the novel a detached, factual voice that effectively encapsulates it as a historical piece. He plays around with the role of a nameless researcher who finds, examines and assembles historical pieces like letters/correspondences, family photographs, cablegrams, and other archival means to construct Ross’ compelling story. This use of private texts contrasted and combined with the public texts and the story itself subjects the story to a literary gap that breeds factual indiscretion. The attempts to be as authentic as possible poses the novel to the peril of coming off as too contrived. By straddling the lines between fiction and non-fiction, the author’s voice is at risk of unreliable narration. It is interesting to note that Findley contrasts and interweaves Ross’ personal story against
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