“The wars” by Timothy Findely is a thought provoking novel. The novel portrays how Wars effects the lives and minds of ordinary people , it refers not only to the physical combat that takes place during the war but also refers to the internal psychological battles that takes place in the minds of soldiers who suffered from the effects of the violence and inhumanity during the World War 1. The novel reveals the horrors of war through the character of Robert Ross and his relationships with his family, his friends and people he came across in his life. The film adaptation of the novel however lacks in detail as if fails to portray Roberts character, especially through his relation ship with his father whom he considered as a mentor and a role model. The film also missed out the important scenes that show Roberts emotional pain and his distress over the inhumanity of war. The novel reveals the life of Robert Ross through his relationships. The novel from the beginning shows a strong father-son bond between Robert and his father Thomas Ross.
The film how ever fails to show any such bond. The novel reveals that Robert always looked up to his father and considered his as a mentor and a role model. The movie dose not show such strong relationship as it dose not have scenes which portray the father and son relationship and described in the novel. Findely shows from the very beginning of the story, demonstrates the strong father-son bond between Robert and his father, Tom. Robert loved and respected his father very much, “…His father got him through it.”(16). However in the movie there is no such reference of this kind. Moreover the film dose not show how much robbers missed his father during the war and when his father shows up in Montreal to ‘pass from hand to hand’ a revolver and a hamper of food to him , “….the sight of his father had lifted his spirits immeasurably”(69). The film adaptation of the novel did a very poor job in showing a proper Roberts relationship with is father because of which we never saw an important side of Roberts character. The film also failed to portray a concrete image of Robert in his state of emotional distress and pain. The movie for example did not show how Roberts isolated his self during his training in Alberta. The novel reveals that after his sister’s death Robert shunned all kinds of attachments and kept to himself, this is very effectively shown during his training at lethbridge, Alberta “he wanted no attachments” (28). The movie dose not contains any such scene or any reference to his seclusion, thus leaving out an important part of the novel as it showed how to what extent Rowena’s death affected him and how he was dealing with his loss. Also, this is the part of the book where Robert is away from home, alone for the first time and this is directly after Rowena’s death.
Thus, it helped the reader observe Roberts’s pain and suffering, the exclusion of this part of the book made it hard for the viewer to see how Robert dealt with his sister’s death and how much guilt he had for not keeping his promise with Rowena. The movie as compared to the book seemed to miss out the very essence of the novel. The novel did an excellent job in showing Roberts pain and his reason for joining the army. While in the movie lacks in the detail and expression. The movie did not show Roberts meeting with Eugene Taffler when he was at training. This was also an important part as here Robert meets a man he considers as his role model and begins to admire. This shows that Robert’s guilt had full control over him and he was more then willing to leave everything behind and kill ” he’d found the model he could emulate-a man to whom killing wasn’t killing at all but only throwing .”(35). the exclusion of this scene thus makes it hard for the viewer to see Roberts character and his motives for joining the army. The movie also fails to show Roberts fragile state in of mind as when he comes across Eugene Taffler during his lousetown experience. This part although included in the movie failed at its purpose to show Roberts fragile state of mind and his loss of innocence.
It did not include the scene where Robert sees Eugene Tafflers different and dark personality and thus did not show his of anger and disappointment as he considered Eugene as role model and wanted to follow his footsteps. The movie did succeed in showing the effects of war over people and suffering it caused. It showed how the soldiers were treated and under what conditions they fought. Nevertheless, it failed to show how the wars affect their state of mind. The novel expressed this part every effectively and was very clear in showing what went through their (soldiers) mind and how they reacted when they faced the reality of War. The movie did not contain any reference this part of the novel, thus failed in its primary objective to show the reality of War and the suffering caused by it.