The Wars

The Wars


Timothy Findley

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The Reader Character Analysis

Findley occasionally refers to the reader from a second-person point of view, creating the sense that the reader is a direct participant in the story. At the beginning and end of the novel, the reader is looking through archives of Robert’s family photographs and other documents in the present day.

The Reader Quotes in The Wars

The The Wars quotes below are all either spoken by The Reader or refer to The Reader. 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 1 Quotes

What you have to accept at the outset is this: many men have died like Robert Ross, obscured by violence. Lawrence was hurled against a wall—Scott entombed in ice and wind—Mallory blasted on the face of Everest. Lost. We’re told Euripides was killed by dogs—and this is all we know. The flesh was torn and scattered—eaten. Ross was consumed by fire. These are like statements: “pay attention!” People can only be found in what they do.

Related Characters: Robert Ross, The Reader
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:
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

The Reader Character Timeline in The Wars

The timeline below shows where the character The Reader appears in The Wars. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 2
Trauma and War Theme Icon
The narration switches to the reader ’s point of view: you are told that you are looking through Robert’s old family... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 3
Trauma and War Theme Icon
...the black mare from the prologue intruding into the frame of this photograph (and into the reader ’s mind), his uniform on fire as he rides toward the camera. (full context)
Part 4
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Blame, Revenge, and Justice Theme Icon human beings. The narration shifts away from this interview with Juliet and states that the reader has read the deaths of 557,017 people thus far in the novel, including Monty Miles... (full context)
Part 5, Epilogue
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
The narration again switches to the reader ’s point of view. Back in the public archives from the beginning of the novel,... (full context)