The Wars

The Wars

by

Timothy Findley

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A prostitute who works at Maria Dreyfus’s brothel, Wet Goods. She pairs up with Robert Ross when his fellow soldiers at the army training camp pressure him into going to the brothel. During their night together, Ella alternates between compassion and frustration toward Robert’s sexual inexperience and hesitance, since she is only paid if the man has sex with her. Her own nonchalant attitude toward sex is what convinces Robert to look through a spy hole into the adjoining room, where he is horrified to see Captain Taffler having sex with a man (the Swede).

Ella Quotes in The Wars

The The Wars quotes below are all either spoken by Ella or refer to Ella. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Trauma and War Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Australia edition of The Wars published in 1995.
Part 1, Chapter 17 Quotes

Nothing he’d read had covered this situation. Whores, of course, had been discussed at school but no one actually ever said this is what you do. They’d made it all up. But what they’d made up was not like this. At all. They’d flown from trapezes and made love in bath tubs and ravished several women to the bed posts, but no one had ever sat in a room with lilac wallpaper and been asked if there was “nothing special you’d like.”

Related Characters: Robert Ross, Ella
Page Number: 39-40
Explanation and Analysis:
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Ella Character Timeline in The Wars

The timeline below shows where the character Ella appears in The Wars. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 16
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
...and urges the soldiers to mingle and dance with the women, and a prostitute named Ella forces Robert to pair up with her. Everyone continues dancing, and Clifford eventually falls down... (full context)
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
...own hands seem uncontrollably drawn to his groin. Overwhelmed, he agrees to go upstairs with Ella. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 17
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
In one of the bedrooms upstairs, Ella is vexed by Robert’s hesitance. Robert reflects on what he’s heard about prostitutes in the... (full context)
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Ella asks Robert if he wants to touch her, and he thinks that he both does... (full context)
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Honor, Duty, and Heroism Theme Icon
Robert and Ella hear thumps coming from the next room, and she beckons him over to look through... (full context)