examples of different characters and their connections towards animals.
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Throughout the novel it is clear that Robert has a connection to the natural world and animals, most notably horses. He shares this with his sister Rowena, Harris, and Rodwell. All these characters foster a deep respect and reverence for the natural world and it is among animals that Robert feels the greatest peace and belonging. He runs with coyotes and horses almost as one of them. There is a freedom and authenticity in the natural world that Robert does not find in human society. The destruction of these animals is what ultimately pushes him to act out violently against the human construct of war.
Isolated from other human beings, Robert finds himself more at home with animals. They do not judge him. He feels no need to impress them or to hide from them. He can simply be himself. When it comes to other human beings, Robert is deeply caring of others, but there is an otherness about him. Rodwell captures this in his sketch of Robert. He is both human and non-human at the same time.