The Wars by Timothy Findley Essay

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The Wars by Timothy Findley

Justification. Defined as the act of justifying something. To serve as an acceptable reason or excuse for our actions, based on actual or believed information. Throughout the history of not only the modern world, but certainly back to the “barest essentials of reason” our species have made decisions that have effectively shaped our world into what it is today. Or have not. The judgments made in the past may also have been relatively insignificant to a larger picture, but would still be important in one persons or a group of people’s day-to-day life. Either way, choices made in any way, shape, or form, are based on what the decision maker believes to be true or morally right. Timothy Findley displays the
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So is war really justified? This is for us as a people to decide.

Another smaller, less significant implication of the idea of safety being used as justification, is Robert’s shooting of the German soldier at the crater on the frontlines. Even though the German had not made a move to kill after been given many opportunities to, Robert acted on impulse and shot the soldier as he was simply reaching for his binoculars. The safety of his men overcame the desire for peace as primary objective in Robert’s mind, leading to one out of 9 000 000 unnecessary deaths.
The second main idea used as justification throughout this novel is self-interest. This is brought up several times in the duration of The Wars. In sequential order, the first is Robert deciding to “make love to his pillows” instead of looking after his sworn-protected sister, Rowena. Doing something fundamentally based on pleasuring oneself is a prime example of acting out of self-interest. It is not stated directly, but rather implied that this action leads to Rowena’s death. This incident leads to the next decision based on self-interest. Robert, not particularly liking what was happening at home, volunteered himself to the Canadian war effort, as many young men of the time were doing. While predominantly for changing his current situation, this action could also be tied in with the idea preserving the safety of his country.

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