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The Struggles in ’stones’

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The Struggles in ’stones’

The Struggles in “Stones”

Life is full of struggles and obstacles that all individuals are faced with and must overcome. Whether emotional or physical, experiences and encounters shape a person’s personality and point of view on life. People who are put through more difficult situations can become either more grateful, thankful and want to achieve more out of life or they can eventually become depressed and discouraged about their situation in life. Either way, we must all try to overcome the hard events in life and focus on what makes us happy and satisfied. War has the power to destruct people’s lives and inflict unnecessary harm on citizens. People become broken and discouraged when seeing their environment destroyed and people they love killed and harmed. However, these types of events can also make a person stronger and stick up for what they believe in. Therefore, Timothy Findley’s Stones suggests that the consequences of struggles in life result in an alteration of personality.

The neighborhood in which the family lived suggests that the Maxes didn’t lead the most luxurious life to begin with. After all, they did live “over on the wrong side of Yonge Street” (Findley 70) where “people of class were not meant to live in the midst of commerce” (Findley 70). They survived The Great Depression and they adjusted to the change better than the people living on the west side of Yonge Street. However, the Second World War changed their life forever. The father’s spirit once back from the war was broken and damaged. He was a changed man. The children, unlike their classmates, couldn’t talk or brag about their father’s return from Europe. The father, once a loving and caring man, who never even swore, came back with a different outlook on life. He did not share details about his years abroad. He remained secluded from the family he once loved. His behavior suggests that what he witnessed and experienced over the past few years at war was horrifying and depressing.

Lily, the mother, held the family as close together as possible. “My mother had to play this scene with all the care and cunning she could muster” (Findley 75). With her husband’s outrages and seclusion, she did her best by taken care of the situation with care and calmness, especially in front of her children. Surely, when alone, she would breakdown from the pressure, sadness and changes. A family that would once take walks together on Sundays now had to deal with the father’s outrages and drinking problems. Ben, the narrator, was only eight years old at the time and even his young fragile mind noticed that his life would forever be different.

Imagery of innocence is showcased with the description of Ben’s favourite corner store and his favourite drink. Also, his memories “of the pre-war years” (Findley 70) support the fact that their family life was good and tolerable before. Ben was innocent and naпve. He didn’t expect his father to change so drastically. He was only a child. His mother’s efforts to keep the father’s condition under control blinded Ben for some time. Besides the fact that Ben spent some years not truly aware, he did stay by his father’s side until death. “I would have loved a stone” (Findley 81). The powerfulness of this statement proves that Ben was devoted to his father even though his siblings eventually lost hope. He lived a

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