The Wars by Timothy Findely - Literature Essay Sample

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Harvey Mudd College
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One certain James Herriot said that if having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty, and gratitude, then it is no doubt that animals are better off than a lot of humans. It is easy to patronize animals for their incompleteness and having taken a form that is way below human beings, but there is a lot to learn from these animals. In the world of animals, there exists a more sense of completion and fulfillment by these animals than humankind could ever understand. Taking the dog, for instance, there is a saying that goes, A dog is the only thing on the planet that loves you more than he loves himself. For the longest time now, the dog has been the most preferred pet and closest to human beings. Some people choose the dog pet because of their ornamental value in that they furry bodies are gentle on touch and calming on appearance. On the other hand, others prefer it because they offer a certain level of protection as they happen to be very territorial. Robert Ross was one person who appreciated the value of animals and would go great lengths to see to their safety and welfare. From the novel The Wars by Timothy Findely, Ross is portrayed as an animal lover, and the epitome of his love is evidenced when he attempted to rescue the horses. Ross action was that of heroism, and this paper will expound more on the same.

Ross love for horses was as a result of the time he spent with them. From the novel, Ross was often being left to take care of the horses on few occasions. He admired the creatures because of their strength and spirit (Findley, Timothy). The more time he spent taking care of the horses, the more he learned about them. At the beginning of the novel, Ross is accompanied by his two best animal friends, a black dog, and a black horse. When he realized that there were horses in the train that was neighing as if to ask for help, Ross freed the horses and together, they set for a journey (Pronio, Melissa). Some may view Ross act as that of defiance, but they couldnt be any more wrong. In fighting some wars, bravery is required because many people may be against you but this should not be reason enough to back down. It is said that is wrong remains wrong even when everybody is doing it, and the opposite is true. Throughout the novel, Ross love for animals has gotten him in many conflicts, but he remained relentless. A good example is when he refused to kill the rabbits on his mothers command (Findley, Timothy).

The ingrate nature of human beings is the reason why sometimes they do not deserve animals. Human beings tend to be very selfish and self-centered. People care more about what they stand to benefit from others that they forget to give. Little do they know that blessed is the one who gives than receives, as the Holy Scripture says. When it comes to animals, people are delighted with the services that the animals can offer them and they fail to return the favor regarding food, shelter, and the way they treat animals. Ross felt more connected and united with animals than he does with humans, and his act of saving the horses was based on the love and loyalty to the same (Pronio, Melissa).

Works Cited

Findley, Timothy. The Wars. Toronto, Penguin Canada, 2005.

Pronio, Melissa. "Robert Ross and His Relationship with Animals." Prezi.Com, 2014,

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