The Wars

The Wars


Timothy Findley

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Marian / Miss Turner Character Analysis

A French military nurse who takes care of Robert Ross at Bois de Madeleine hospital after he commits a series of war crimes and sustains severe, disfiguring burns. As with Juliet d’Orsey, the narration features several transcripts of interviews with Miss Turner in the novel’s contemporary time period, roughly sixty years after the events that take place during World War I. When Robert arrives at her hospital, she is outraged that a Military Police officer is required to stay by him at all times, even during surgery. Miss Turner hoards morphine for Robert and offers to assist him in committing suicide, but he replies, “not yet,” a statement that profoundly affects her and becomes her life’s motto. In addition to sharing her memories of Robert, Miss Turner’s interviews hold retrospective wisdom about the war’s harmful effects on society and culture.

Marian / Miss Turner Quotes in The Wars

The The Wars quotes below are all either spoken by Marian / Miss Turner or refer to Marian / Miss Turner. 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 3 Quotes

“He was unique. But you have to be careful, searching his story out. I’ve been through it all, you know…the whole of this extraordinary century—and it’s not the extraordinary people who’ve prevailed upon its madness. Quite the opposite. Oh—far from it! It’s the ordinary men and women who’ve made us what we are. Monstrous, complacent and mad.”

Related Characters: Marian / Miss Turner (speaker), Robert Ross, The Reader
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Wars PDF

Marian / Miss Turner Character Timeline in The Wars

The timeline below shows where the character Marian / Miss Turner appears in The Wars. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 3
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Blame, Revenge, and Justice Theme Icon
The narrative then switches to a transcript of a present-day interview with Marian Turner , a nurse from World War I who remembers treating Robert after he was arrested... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 18
Trauma and War Theme Icon
In another transcript from a present-day interview with Marian Turner , she says that the Great War changed sleep for people everywhere, and that those... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 14
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Blame, Revenge, and Justice Theme Icon
Honor, Duty, and Heroism Theme Icon
In a final interview with Marian Turner in the present day, she remembers that Robert was brought to the hospital where she... (full context)
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Blame, Revenge, and Justice Theme Icon
In the hospital, Robert was barely able to speak due to his injuries. Miss Turner hoarded morphine for him from their low supply. She offered to assist him in committing... (full context)