The Wars

The Wars

by

Timothy Findley

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Willie Poole Character Analysis

A bugler assigned to Robert Ross in Belgium. Though, like Robert, he is nineteen years old, Poole looks and sounds young for his age. He is described an “uncomplicated” and has an innocent demeanor that endears him to the other soldiers in the dugout at St. Eloi. After Robert is raped at Asile Desolé, Poole delivers him his missing kit bag and Robert wishes that he could embrace him.

Willie Poole Quotes in The Wars

The The Wars quotes below are all either spoken by Willie Poole or refer to Willie Poole. 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 2, Chapter 3 Quotes

Poole said: “You needn’t worry about the Germans here, sir. They’re a long ways off yet. At least as much as two miles or more.”

Levitt said: “Oh.” He seemed somehow demoralized by this news. Perhaps he thought you weren’t in the war unless the enemy could shoot you. In this he was much like everyone else who’d just arrived. You weren’t a real soldier unless you were in jeopardy.

Related Characters: Levitt (speaker), Willie Poole (speaker), Robert Ross
Related Symbols: The Four Elements
Page Number: 84
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2, Chapter 4 Quotes

From the gap, when Robert’s eyes had cleared, he cast a single look back to where the man had been. He saw that the whole field was filled with floating shapes. The only sounds were the sounds of feeding and of wings. And of rafts.

Related Characters: Robert Ross, Willie Poole
Related Symbols: The Four Elements, Eyes
Page Number: 88
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Wars LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Wars PDF

Willie Poole Character Timeline in The Wars

The timeline below shows where the character Willie Poole appears in The Wars. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2, Chapter 3
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Robert rides with a bugler named Willie Poole, who chose active duty over joining the military band. The air becomes contaminated with a... (full context)
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Suddenly, massive flocks of birds begin to fly out of the ditches around Robert and Poole, adding to the disorienting, ominous atmosphere of the fog. Robert tells an orderly to go... (full context)
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Blame, Revenge, and Justice Theme Icon
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Honor, Duty, and Heroism Theme Icon
Eventually, junior officer Levitt emerges with Poole’s bugle and tells Robert that the orderly and his horse drowned to death because Robert... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 4
Trauma and War Theme Icon
As Robert rides ahead of Poole and the rest of the convoy, he accidentally puts his foot down in a sinkhole... (full context)
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Eventually, Poole and Levitt catch up to Robert and help him up. Once his eyes have cleared,... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 8
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Honor, Duty, and Heroism Theme Icon
Poole makes chicken stew for the men in the dugout, which is well-furnished, “civilized,” and “proper”... (full context)
Part 3
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Honor, Duty, and Heroism Theme Icon
...animals (who all survived in their cages). Robert frantically digs through the debris, certain that Poole has suffocated and died. Robert is angry but relived when Poole appears behind him from... (full context)
Trauma and War Theme Icon
...arrive back at Robert’s dugout, where Levitt is disturbingly calm. Robert tells him to help Poole fix the brazier so they can make tea later. Rodwell, who is caked with mud,... (full context)
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
The men try their best to regroup in the midst of this chaos. Rodwell and Poole repair the roof of the dugout, while Levitt goes mad and sits immobilized with his... (full context)
Blame, Revenge, and Justice Theme Icon
Honor, Duty, and Heroism Theme Icon
...addressed to his daughter for safekeeping. Captain Leather finally makes an appearance, commanding Robert, Levitt, Poole, and Devlin to return to Wytsbrouk while Bonnycastle and Roots stay with the men. He... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 5
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
...apart, wanting clean clothes and his pistol. Suddenly, there is a knock at the door—Willie Poole has come to deliver Robert his missing kit bag. He begs Poole, who is only... (full context)
Trauma and War Theme Icon
Loss of Innocence Theme Icon
Honor, Duty, and Heroism Theme Icon
Robert thanks Poole for bringing his kit bag and wishes that he could embrace him. They say goodbye... (full context)