The Wars

War and Verisimilitude in Timothy Findley’s The Wars and Pat Barker’s The Ghost Road 12th Grade

With the imminent threat of global war looming over Europe, fear and hostility came to cast a shadow over the continent. A war that would almost decimate a generation of young men, became the reality for writers, poets, scholars, and artists who left an impression that would never be forgotten. World War I proved to be a dark and tumultuous period in European history that would later be the inspiration for contemporary authors, whose writing explored the Great War’s influences and effect on the period. Through some of the iconic fictional literary works based on the war, a broader understanding of the hardships and brutality involved are established using elements of verisimilitude. Verisimilitude can be defined as “the semblance of reality in dramatic or nondramatic fiction”. The technique attempts to present a realistic view of an event and evoke its believability for readers. Verisimilitude originated from Aristotle’s mimesis theory that applied to artists attempting to depict reality in their work. The word itself originates from the seventeenth century, and the technique became popular in novels during the 20th century. In a piece of historical fiction, its purpose can be to promote historicity, and create a more powerful...

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