Whose war does the author refer to in the title? Support your view with examples from the story.: I think it represents the war fought in Neils mind. Let me explain. When Neil was fighting with his dad, one part of his brain wanted to be mad at his dad, but the other didn’t. You can see his mind go back and forth in his head. Throughout this part of the story, you can see Neil shifting from Maybe he doesn’t know, to He knows exactly what he did.
With a small group, discuss whether you think the way Neil reacts to his father leaving is typical of a ten-year-old boy. Why do you think he throws the stones?: When I was ten, If my dad “lied” to me and I found out, I would feel betrayed like Neal does, and I think any other ten-year-old boy would feel the same. The only thing I don’t think any other ten-year-old would do is throwing rocks at their dad. I know he did it originally to distract his dad, but then he did it out of aggression. I don’t think anyone else would do something like this, at least not me.
Like most stories, the action builds up to an event that’s the high point or climax. What is the climax of “War”?: I think the climax of the of the story is when the Dad walks into the barn. This is when Neal let’s out all the anger that he built up against his dad. Throwing rocks at his dad, even knocking him out, geez. I get mad at my dad sometimes, but not enough to do that.
Reread the story focusing specifically on the way Findley has captured the thoughts and feelings of a twelve-year-old boy who is looking back on events that happened when he was ten years old. Focus particularly on the explanations and interpretations that the narrator at the age of twelve offers for the things he said and did at age ten. In what ways does the older version of the narrator understand more fully the significance of the events described in the story?: Throughout the story, Neal seems to have a larger grasp of his actions and why he made them. You can see when he thinks back about the golf ball, he thinks about whether what he did was stealing or not when 12-year-old Neil wouldn’t have known.
Find examples of vocabulary, expressions, and syntax in the story that is typical of a young person. What are some features of language that are used unconventionally to imitate the direct speech of a young person whose use of language is still developing?: Instead of writing conversations out in narrative form, he switches to script style writing. He also writes it as if he was talking to you, not as a story. After he explains himself he says, “Anyway, now that you know how old I was and what grade I was into, I can tell you the rest.” His writing style is also informal, like how a kid would write.