The Struggles Of Life Essay Research Paper

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The Struggles Of Life Essay, Research Paper The Struggles in Life Everyone is faced with struggles in life, whether physical or emotional. These struggles inevitably shape an individual?s personality and outlook on life. Timothy Findley?s novels, The Wars and Stones, suggest that the consequences of struggles in life result in a journey of self- discovery. War exists in the character?s physical and psychological accounts of the horror of life. In the novel The Wars, Robert Ross actually goes to war and fights in World War I . In the novel Stones, Minna Joyce encounters a war in her life as a child, trying to survive on the streets. These physical encounters with war lead to a psychological change in the characters and their perception of living. Robert and Minna?s

experiences make them want to escape and help others overcome the terrible war, in their own lives. Furthermore, experiencing these struggles leads to the character?s ultimate realization and self-discovery of life and of themselves. The horrors of war which Robert endures are instrumental in his psychological change. Minna?s experiences in life, in death and her internal struggles, lead her on a journey of self-discovery. In the novel The Wars, Robert Ross is a sensitive nineteen year old boy who experiences first-hand the horrors of battle as a Canadian Soldier in the First World War. Being named a Lieutenant shortly after arriving in Europe, Robert is thrust into combat. While advancing to the front with his troops Robert witnesses his first images of the brutality of war: He

was taking his troops to the front and they were walking along a road that had been shelled and there was a soldier lying dead by the road whose head had been smashed. It was an awful shock. The first dead man he?d seen. (The Wars 99) Robert has not yet experienced anything that could prepare him for the conditions he faces. In 2 this instance, Robert experiences brutality for the first time, in the form of a dead body which has been gruesomely wounded. The shock of seeing a dead body can be very disturbing to any individual, and not even an experienced veteran could be prepared for the horrific sight Robert endures here. Minna Joyce, a writer in the novel Stones, also experiences and reacts to the horrors of life. Minna?s war is not like the World War in which Robert

participates, but is a struggle with everyday life in the large city of Toronto. Minna witnesses horrific sights on Queen Street: … with all its resident rubbies and gentle crazies, dressed in all weathers in their summer coats …. ….. and their eyes as crafty and innocent all at once as the eyes of bears…. (Stones 11) Minna Joyce experiences the harsh reality of individuals who have nothing, and are forced to live on the streets of downtown Toronto. Minna was brought up in an area of the city inhabited by many homeless people, or?artists?as she calls them, a little less horrifying. The thought of having to watch the people suffer is horrifying to her. The war of life is apparent in the challenges that both Minna and Robert are faced with in their lives. One of the most

notable events which Robert faces is trench warfare during the First World War. After being sent away with a small battalion to begin the digging of another trench, Robert comes back to the front to find the trench destroyed and his comrades dead. When they made their way back through the trench there was nothing left alive. They had all been gassed or had frozen to death. Those who lay in water were profiled in ice. Everything was green: their faces ? and their fingers ? and their buttons and the snow. (The Wars 146) 3 In this situation, Robert witnesses many of the horrific ways in which soldiers were killed during the First World War. Snow and the bitterly cold weather attributed to many Canadian soldiers? deaths during World War One, and nearly one thousand men died from