The Struggles Of Life Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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frost bite alone. The sight of his friends frozen dead in the water is terrifying, and to look down and see another soldier in the ice with his entire body green is a gruesome image. One of the most popular and deadly tactics used by the Germans during World War One was chlorine gas, which Robert was lucky to survive. He is subjected to the poison when it was sent up into the atmosphere which produced huge masses of chlorine gas clouds. These clouds made their way across ?no man?s land?, to the trenches, killing all in sight including Robert?s comrades. Minna?s experiences in life are not to the same degree comparable to Robert?s, but can be related to everyday life. Robert struggles in World War One, experiencing brutality and death at its worst. Minna struggles on the streets

of Toronto. Both characters struggle for survival in life. Robert?s experiences are quite extreme and the average person may not be able to relate to them. Even though Minna?s experiences are common, they are nonetheless frightening. Minna?s experiences with the homeless became more terrifying when she had to live on the streets. ?… a life of inherited privilege mixed with deliberate squalor.? (Stones 11) She spent some nights on the streets because she could not find work. She was subjected to the horror that people believe it will never happen to them. ?Queen Street and, in fact, the whole of Parkdale offered a world of unwanted people…? (Stones 51) Minna was a part of a war that is lasting longer than World War One. Although the books are set in different time periods,

both Minna and Robert struggle to survive day to day. Their situations are different but the goals are the same; survival. Robert?s physical accounts of trench warfare and Minna?s physical accounts with the homeless 4 displays to the reader the fact that war exists in a physical state. The consequences of the war with life allow the two characters to justify who they are, and help them to become mentally stronger. The psychological change in the character?s dispositions and their increasing awareness of the importance of life is evident throughout the novels The Wars and Stones. Through Robert?s experiences with the utter brutality of war, he experiences a psychological change in character. After being saved a day earlier on the battlefield by one of his comrades, Robert

experiences difficulty trying to get to sleep. ?All he wanted was a dream. Escape. But nobody dreams on a Battlefield. There isn?t any sleep that long. Dreams and distance are the same.? (The Wars 102) At the young age of nineteen, dreams are common. The impact of the war has begun to affect Robert, as he has difficulty even dreaming. Sleep and the night are very important to soldiers. The ability to dream allows them to leave the horror of war on earth and enter into a fantasy where they can forget. Robert?s inability to dream is based on the fact that his mind is filled with the horrors of war which prevent him from entering this dreamworld. Minna also experiences a psychological change in her perceptions of living. ?She, too, wanted to escape.? (Stones 43) Minna and her

husband both want to depart the reality of their life in Parkdale. She wanted trees and grass in their backyard, which is not conceivable when living in a small apartment. Minna, like Robert, wants to escape the reality of life as she knows it, and be in a place where everything is splendid. Minna ?wanted even once a week to make her way down the and into the street without the ever-present threat of someone else?s panic waiting to grab her sleeve.? (Stones 44) Minna seems to enjoy working with the homeless, but she would just like to get away once in a while to have more peace and security. Minna and Robert 5 both want deliverance from the horror in their lives. In the novel Heart of Darkness Kurtz?s final words are, ?The horror, the horror? (Conrad 118). These words are Kurtz?s

final judgement of what he succumbed to in both the Congo and in his psychological journey into his own heart of darkness. The horrors that Robert and Minna face are reality and must not be forgotten. The difference between Kurtz and Robert and Minna is that Kurtz succumbs to his inner demons and goes mad, whereas Robert and Minna do not. Robert has experienced every aspect of the brutality of war. His psychological change is evident through his outlook on life: Robert struck a match and caught the rat by his tail. It squealed as he lifted it over the edge and set it free. Robert wondered afterwards if setting the rat free had been a favour ? but in the moment that he did it he was thinking: here is someone still alive. And the word alive was amazing. (The Wars 127) Robert has