The Wars

The Wars

by

Timothy Findley

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Mr. Thomas Ross Character Analysis

The husband of Mrs. Ross and father of Robert, Rowena, Stuart, and Peggy Ross. Thomas is the wealthy owner of Raymond/Ross Industries, a company that manufactures farm equipment. During World War I, his company is converted to produce military weapons. Thomas cares deeply for his family and does his best to remain supportive of Mrs. Ross after Robert goes off to war and she gradually spirals out of control. He is the only one of Robert’s family members to come see him buried after his death.

Mr. Thomas Ross Quotes in The Wars

The The Wars quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Thomas Ross or refer to Mr. Thomas Ross. 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 9 Quotes

All these actors were obeying some kind of fate we call “revenge.” Because a girl had died—and her rabbits had survived her.

Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1, Chapter 21 Quotes

Oddly, too, he didn’t feel like sending love to anyone. It seemed unmanly. What he did do was enclose a photograph (official) and say to his father: “This will show you that my draft makes a brawling, husky lot of men. Not quite gunners or drivers yet—just as I can’t quite feel that I am a soldier myself.”

Related Characters: Robert Ross (speaker), Mr. Thomas Ross, Peggy Ross, Clifford Purchas
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1, Chapter 29 Quotes

But Mrs. Ross just stood at the windows of the private car and was afraid to go outdoors. Her mind was full of trolley cars and she knew that if she tried to cross the tracks, then she and everyone would be struck down. Instead, she waved from behind the glass and she watched her boy depart and her husband standing in his black fur coat—it seemed for hours—with his arm in the air and the snow falling down around him. “Come on back to the raf’, Huck, honey.” And this was what they called the wars.

Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Wars LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Wars PDF

Mr. Thomas Ross Character Timeline in The Wars

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Thomas Ross appears in The Wars. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 3
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Honor, Duty, and Heroism Theme Icon
...shifts to a series of the Ross’s family photos. The snapshots feature Robert, his parents Thomas and Mrs. Ross, and his siblings Peggy, Stuart, and Rowena. The Rosses were a wealthy... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
...regain consciousness and dies on Monday, the day after the fall. Though they loved Rowena, Mr. Ross and Mrs. Ross are emotionally prepared for her death since, at twenty-five, their daughter had... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 8
Trauma and War Theme Icon
...with Robert, Mrs. Ross retires to her bedroom and refuses to open the door when Tom knocks. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 9
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Honor, Duty, and Heroism Theme Icon
At Rowena’s funeral the following Thursday, Tom and Mrs. Ross are stoic. Peggy’s boyfriend, Clinton Brown, is there in his soldier’s uniform,... (full context)
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Blame, Revenge, and Justice Theme Icon
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
...dashes outside, sliding in the mud as he runs, and attacks Teddy. They wrestle until Tom and Clinton separate them. Mr. Ross signals Teddy to go ahead with killing the rabbits. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 14
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Honor, Duty, and Heroism Theme Icon
Throughout the autumn of 1915, it rains heavily in North America and Europe. Tom and Mrs. Ross shower Robert with gifts of winter clothing and food. Since the Canadian... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 20
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Honor, Duty, and Heroism Theme Icon
...times after supper. Mrs. Ross and the maid are sure that he will die, but Tom encourages his son. (full context)
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Honor, Duty, and Heroism Theme Icon
Robert faints with jaundice on his twenty-fifth lap, and Tom helps him through his illness by telling him stories every evening. He watches as Robert... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 21
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Honor, Duty, and Heroism Theme Icon
Robert writes one last letter to Tom. He tells his father that he had been surprised and comforted to see him in... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 28
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Honor, Duty, and Heroism Theme Icon
...run out of their houses and shops to see the animals. In a letter to Tom and Mrs. Ross, Robert minimizes the negative aspects of the voyage and writes that the... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 29
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Blame, Revenge, and Justice Theme Icon
When Mrs. Ross was a young woman about to be married to Tom, her brother Monty Miles Raymond was hit by a trolley car and killed. Now, Mrs.... (full context)
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Once Robert is stationed overseas, Tom has the idea of going to meet his son in Montreal before he is shipped... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 30
Trauma and War Theme Icon
From his post in Europe, Robert writes formal letters to Tom, Mrs. Ross, Peggy, Stuart, and even the family’s dog, Bimbo. The letters are laid in... (full context)
Part 3
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Blame, Revenge, and Justice Theme Icon
Mrs. Ross obsessively rereads, memorizes, and catalogues Robert’s letters. She writes him rambling, illegible responses. Tom feels distant from his wife and misses her terribly, but never says anything, instead losing... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 9
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Honor, Duty, and Heroism Theme Icon
...get dressed and wanders around the house, crying out in a drunken stupor. Miss Davenport, Mr. Ross , Peggy, and Stuart are alarmed by her behavior. Stuart does not wish Robert ill,... (full context)
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Blame, Revenge, and Justice Theme Icon
...of alcohol, and lets out an “agonizing cry.” She calls out for help and tells Mr. Ross that she has gone blind. The narration describes Robert’s framed portrait in the family’s drawing... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 15
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Blame, Revenge, and Justice Theme Icon
Honor, Duty, and Heroism Theme Icon
...year before his death of Robert holding Juliet’s hand and smiling despite his disfigured face. Mr. Ross is the only member of Robert’s family to come see him buried. Juliet inscribes his... (full context)