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Robert Ross is a hero

            Robert's joining the army, is his response to many changing conditions in his home. He perceives this as a good move, which would provide many new features to his life including stability, respect, and what we'll be talking about today, heroism. The soldiers Robert runs off to fall into ranks with, are perceived as heroes and the unsaid connotations of how they are viewed by others as Heroic, exist frequently and quite prominently throughout the book. Examples of this can be seen from the beginning of the story. Upon leaving the train station to depart for the war the description of the hallways in the train provides a perfect example of the typical soldier description. "There must have been three dozen - forty or fifty - all coming down from Toronto together - joining others from as far away as Winnipeg and Saskatoon. Most of them had swaggered up and down the cars like braggarts - smoking cigarettes and drinking out of silver flasks." This shows the typical social side of a heroic soldiers life. Carrying on with little restraint they are portrayed as doing nothing more than smoking and drinking, providing little privacy and generally being happy. They are seen as being in a constant state of drunken bliss, and never having to worry about any of the issues of the real world. Another example of this preconceived typical hero aspect of things again is portrayed this time through Robert's eyes. After arriving in England, one afternoon Robert sees Eugene Taffler enter a room with Barbara D'Orsey. The effect of his appearance on Robert was enormous as Taffler was described as "looking more like a Boy's Own Annual hero than ever, dressed in his uniform with it's green field tabs; carrying a swagger stick and groomed within an inch of his life. He'd just had his hair cut - a sure sign he was returning to the front." This clean cut description of a decorated officer is how the soldiers are portrayed as heroes to one another and to the public.

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