Robert Ross Character Analysis

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War is generally not something many people enjoy. Whether it be hearing about unnecessary deaths in the media, or witnessing them first hand, the thought alone can transform people into a melancholy state. War more often than not yields heroes who take daring and tremendous chances risking their lives while aiding their country to gain an upper hand in battle. Some individuals naturally possess these characteristics which assist them in making a significant change throughout the havoc of war. Alternatively, the same characteristics which service the characters heroic actions can also lead to their downfall. In Timothy Findley’s The Wars, Robert Ross’ heroic characteristics ironically make him more vulnerable to the turmoil brought about by…show more content…
Robert’s sympathy is first evident when his mentally ill sister Rowena dies. His mother then tells Robert that he has to kill her pet rabbits that she was hoarding so they do not multiply further. Robert replies with “I’ll take care of them. Please!!!” (17) communicating to his mother that Rowena’s rabbits were something which she treasured and were very dear to her heart. Robert recognizes this and feels extremely sympathetic for what made Rowena happy, respecting her feelings as he continues to take care of the rabbits. Not only is this sympathy shown towards his sister, but also towards a friend of his in the war. His friend Harris, also in the war with him, whom he met on the ship voyage to England, was sent to a nursing home after he had fallen ill while in battle. The author notes that “Harris had no other visitors” (105) while he has been in the nursing home, and how the people of the home “told [Robert] bluntly no one should die alone.” (105) Robert is the only person to visit Harris until his death, trying to make him feel more cheerful and hopeful. His caring and kindness prevail in making Harris die more peacefully. His sympathy does not just stop there. His final act of sympathy is to the various animals within the barnyard. The approaching Germans begin to bomb the vicinity and there have been no arrangements made about the horses. The horses are ordered by a high ranked…show more content…
The first display of courage Robert shows the reader is when he is on the ship heading towards England. The ship itself is carrying an overload of men and horses, causing the cabins to be rather clustered. One day, one of Robert’s fellow soldiers asks him if he can take his place caring for the horses as he was falling ill. In the stables of the ship, however, Robert finds total chaos because people are not doing their jobs, and a wretched smell fills the limited air. A higher ranking officer tells Robert to shoot one of the horses as it had broken its leg when the boat went through the high seas. This is where the reader first sees Robert make a courageous decision. Robert his horrified by the officers orders and must somehow put the poor horse out of its misery, but he just cannot actually end its life. The author shows Robert’s uncertainty by stating how “A chair fell over in [Robert’s] mind” (68) and that he should “Just be very quick about it.” (69) In the end however, Robert sums up enough courage to kill the horse, and move on from his ordeal. His next experience is while he is in the middle of war, when he and a few other men are ordered to go into the forward trench and assemble a piece of artillery. They find a pit not far away and all climb inside, a few of them suffering injuries as they slide down the slick slope. Just as they begin to set up the

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