The Wars by Timothy Findley
Many people say that the metal of a man is found in his ability to keep his ideals in spite of anything that life can through at you. If a man is found to have done these things he can be called a hero. Through a lifelong need to accept responsibility for all living things, Robert Ross defines his heroism by keeping faith with his ideals despite the betrayal, despair and tragedy he suffers throughout the course of The Wars by Timothy Findley.
Many times throughout Robert’s life, all those whom he thought were close to him, while he tried stick to his ideals, had betrayed him. When Robert lost Rowena, he felt that he had failed at his duty and he feels he must make up for it by joining the army. Expecting love and support from his parents, his mother verbally slaps him in the face. “I know what you want to do. I know you want to go away and be a soldier. Well you can go to hell. I’m just another stranger (p28).” Captain Taffler also betrayed Robert, even though he didn’t realize it. Robert set him up as a role model to emulate during the war, but once he found out that he was a homosexual, Robert’s ideals of people he looks up to in war were crushed. “He picked up a boot and held it in his hand. Its weight alarmed him and the texture of its leather skin appalled him with its human feel. He through the boot across the room and shattered the mirror (p45).” Finally, Robert was betrayed by his own love for others. By keeping faith with his ideals, he left himself open to the emotional scarring that was caused by the loss of all his good friends. He was betrayed by his love for Rowena, his love for Harris, and also, his love for Rodwell.
Through despair, Robert forces himself to keep with his ideals, which shows just how strong his resolve is. When Robert was in despair, he took his mind off his problems by keeping himself busy. After losing Rowena, Robert decides to join the...