To everybody, I was as good as dead. I didn't know whether it was pity or hatred that they felt seeing me lie there lifelessly. The ache in my body was so intense that I thought "divine justice it was." Life was taking it back from me what I had snatched off from it. I felt helpless and the furry of the blaze that rendered me defenseless was taking its best part in mocking me. Was this what Rowena felt when life was snatched from her with a simple fall? No mine was more painful from all the burn soles that made me almost unrecognizable. Despite the rage and pain, I was cuffed to the bed rail like I would even seat up.
I did not know how long I had being in this state but hanging in between death and fighting it was more than the different wars I had engaged in - crossfire with Germans or nothing like the last encounter with Captain Leather. Those last words came haunting again "The Dog! The Dog!"
"Come down come down it's alright" her tenderness was sharp that the necessary reassurance I needed at this passive moment of my life. Maria Turner had been on my bedside for the longest time I was in a coma. But her voice and the will to know on the whereabouts of the dog and the horses drew me back to life despite me desperate will to die and reunite with Harris and Rowena to take my apologies in person. Many things were running through my mind at this time.
Maria's excitement when I finally opened my eyes was pure. I presumed she had prayed for this day for a long time. The mixed feeling of her reaction and my desperate desire not to see light ever again made my inner soul on fire. The rage of undeserving compassion brought this thought in and out. Why was this life so cruel that even people like me were worth getting any compassion from anyone after the heartless encounters I had brought to those near me and the betrayal of not being there when the people who needed me most were desperate for my help? Life was only being just by taking everything from me and rendering me so defenseless cuffed on to that hospital bed. But there was this will to fight my self-pity and see another day was not explainable. Why was I so much willing to see another day and whenever I closed my eyes the only thing I could see was the rage of the blaze that placed me in my current situation. The agony of the animals as the barn blazed into frames. Why was life so heartless that it brought me to see this day."He is awake!" there was excitement in Maria's voice. "When he opened his eyes the first thing he said was - The Dog - with a terrifying shake like something was harming it that she desired to protect" Nobody could understand what was going through my mind at this moment. The void that I felt and the rage of the blaze that was so consuming that it kept me on my toes all this time. Nobody could understand.
Juliet and Barbara entered the room to join Maria. The three women talked hopefully with the reassurance that it was going to be alright. I lie there passively not able to defend myself even from these poor women. Life can be at times being very cruel. How can I be this defenseless, just lying there to watch time pass by? I felt like this was the highest price tagged in my life. As the women talked, Maria's call biped and she excused herself. "You need to rest," she said as she turned to go. I didn't know whether it was gratitude or passion that attached out hearts but I felt like she was going away with my heart. "We should also get going," Juliet told Barbara. "Robert it's going to be alright" Barbara reassured me before going and I was alone in this serene environment that was making me more confused than relieved.
I woke in a startle again. I didn't know how long I had been sleeping but this time waking up felt different. I could smell the smoke and felt the blaze in my mind. Why was this fire tormenting me, the only thing I could remember was the pack. Had anyone rescued the dog? I felt insecure to ask Maria again because when I woke up she was there, patient to see me overcome my newly found fears but I was not ready to tell. The dog was haunting me or was it calling for my help.
The missing chapter bridges the gap between the time Robert passed out during the fire in the barn and the first time he woke up in Magdalene hospital. I feel like his inner perception of the furry and rage that consumed him was not covered in the third party narration to give the audience his weak and strong points in life. Therefore, this missing chapter brings to light why despite losing so much and lacking enough hope left to fight for he was still willing to give life a chance. In the proceeding chapters when he was reinstated to St. Aubyn's Turner hospital and offered a pass out of the life he responded "Not yet" as inspiration steered by the hope and reassurance life brought to him when he woke up from his coma. Although Robert did not live to tell the story of his inner self-fears his encounters with Maria Turner were a better chance to know his true traits without external drive from the unquestionable command during his life in war. This entry point was the best part to bring his personality because of the audience with the probable reason why he was willing to fight to live his life to the fullest despite losing everything in his cruel past decisions. This missing chapter gives substance to Timothy Findley piecework because it gives the protagonist a chance to defend his point of view. The predecessor chapter ends with him calling on the dog and the new chapter brings the dog as the main element that brought him back to life. Therefore, this additional chapter makes emphasis on his passion for animals whenever Robert Ross was met with critical decisions in life. He woke up from the coma with the will to find out what happened to the dog rather than giving up reuniting with his sister Rowena and his friend Harris, making the animal an important element in his life.
Findley, Timothy. (1997). The Wars. Harmondsworth: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-305142-3.
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