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The Fog Of Peception Between Friend And Enemy In The Wars By Timothy Findley

854 words - 4 pages

Within his novel The Wars, Timothy Findley, deconstructs the concept of friend and enemy. Jacques Derrida, the founder of deconstruction stated, “Deconstruction takes place, it is an event that does not await the deliberation, consciousness or organization of a subject, or even of modernity. It deconstructs it-self. It can be deconstructed.” (Mapp, 781). Jacques Derrida believed deconstruction happens on its own, and therefore one does not need to consciously deconstruct a text, as it is an unconscious process that one need not deliberate. In the text The Wars, Findley makes the assumption that one’s enemy is their closest friend. Oxford Dictionaries defines the term “enemy”, as a person who ...view middle of the document...

Upon entering the war, soldiers are immediately faced with their “enemies”, who bombard them with artillery and death; however these soldiers are not given the chance to identify who in the war is or is not their friends or enemies, however are enlisted to these answers. Consequently, Findley also illustrates that one’s enemy can be their closest friend, utilizing scenarios where friends turn against each other to save themselves. While setting up a gun bed close to the German lines, Robert Ross and his men encounter a gas attack. Taking precautionary measures, Ross instructs all of his men to put on their gas masks, and astonishingly realizes he is the only man in possession of one. His own men, who are supposed to be his “friends”, attack him like dogs in an attempt to retrieve his gas mask and save their own lives. “Eight men and one mask. Robert had to fight to keep it and he ended up kicking both the living and the dead” (Findley, 124). These soldiers switch expeditiously from being friends of Robert, to his enemies, in order to save themselves. Within this life or death experience, these “friends” become barbaric, and rather than attempting to save each other as “friends” should, they are willing to let one another die just to hold on to their own breath. Findley uses these events to illustrate the absurdity in the concept of friend and enemy, as one’s enemies will turn out to be their closest friends. Notwithstanding, it is tremendously unstable for...

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