Books and Movies Reviews

Community in Two Novels

Community is often thought of as a town, city, or even neighborhood,
but community can refer to just about any group who has common beliefs,
common values, or some sort of commonality.Families are small
communities, and so are schools, churches, and groups with like ideals or
causes.Both of these novels concern communities, and how many of the
novels’ characters interact with communities, both small and large.
Communities are made up of individuals, but unless the individuals conform
to community standards, or feel comfortable with them, they will have an
uneasy relationship with the community, and with themselves, just as these
two novels so graphically illustrate.
Both main characters in these novels have uneasy relationships with
their family, which translate into uneasy relationships within their small
community, and thus translate to uneasy relationships with their larger
community.In “The Wars,” Robert’s estrangement from his family begins
with the death of his sister Rowena, and his decision to join the army to
fight in Europe, as this passage illustrates, “‘You think Rowena belonged
to you.Well I’m here to tell you, Robert no one belongs to anyone.We’re
all cut off at birth with a knife and left at the mercy of strangers. You
hear that’Strangers. (Findley 23).Immediately the reader understands
the depth of the division in the family, and how Robert is struggling with
his identity in his small familial community, just as his mother, Mrs.
Ross, will struggle with her identity in the larger community where they
live after he leaves.Part of successful assimilation in a community is
feeling comfortable and that you belong.In this case, Robert feels he has
nothing in common with his mother, and so, leaves the family because the
member he loved the most is gone.He is searching for himself, meaning in
his life, and attempting to discover where he fits i…

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