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Timothy Findley 's The Wars

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Stolen Innocence: Character Development in Timothy Findley’s The Wars
“He stood at the window of the empty café and watched the activities in the square and he said that it was good that God kept the truths of life from the young as they were starting out or else they’d have no heart to start at all” ("All the Pretty Horses"). World War One was the first war that used the media and propaganda to target the public (“Propaganda in World War I”). Much of the propaganda used was targeted towards young men. The media emphasized the patriotism and heroism one would show for their country by enlisting in the army. More than 250,000of these young men were under the age of 19 ("The teenage soldiers of World War One"). These boys were susceptible to
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He was unable to go against his morals and resulting in the death of the rabbits anyway. As the novel progresses and as the war progresses Robert’s mentality begins to change.
As the war progresses, Robert’s characteristics begin to change. After Robert has had the training required to fight, he is sent on a ship to France where he is in charge of taking care of the horses. He is then told he is responsible to put down a horse that broke its leg in the stables. Because of Robert’s love for animals, he is hesitant to shoot the poor animal and struggles to do so.
“He had the gun in both hands. He pressed it hard behind the horse’s ear and swore at the horse ‘God damn it, damn it, damn it, - stop.’ His knees were wet and he drew himself into a ball and pushed with all his strength. He began to squeeze the trigger and he squeezed it again and again and again- so many times then when Sergeant-Major pulled him away the gun went right on clicking in his hands” (63). Robert struggles with his own morals but ultimately he is able to accomplish the task of killing the animal, an act that Robert was unable to do before the war. Findley uses Robert’s love for animals to portray the influence the war is having on his mentality and therefore the impact it is having on his innocence.
By the end of the novel, Robert has completely lost his innocence and his sanity. During an air raid, he deliberately goes against orders in wanting to
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