According to the “Stones” by Timothy Findley, a man was bred to become a soldier and nothing less than that. The masculinity identity is an issue that is worth mentioning. The conception of masculinity is manifested in a soldier. The essence of masculinity according to Findley is seen from when in his qualities of leadership and as the protector of the family. The above roles are evidently operative roles; to be figurative and literal soldier and not that of the opposite-women. In the story Stones, one of the characters called David experiences psychological problems. He has been indoctrinated into war; violence, making his definition as masculinity skewed.
According to the author Davis needs to be soldier to be considered as a man. Findley indicates that psychological torture is worse than physical torture. The author later introduces another character called Ben. Ben’s memories indicate that his is a perfect father. On the contrary, David is a failed soldier with evident problems of femininity. Since David changes into feminine boy since lily approaches him as a mother. It is noted that the author tried to inform his audience that the role of man should not be confused to that of the women and that the man was the bread winner of the family and the society. From his analysis, it can be concluded that David is less masculine while Ben is seen as the real man with masculine to protect his people and family. Findleys defines the negative effects of masculine psychological dilemma in “Stones” via indoctrination of violence, the ideal principle of perfection, and the female in contrast. The author informs the reader that gender roles are significant in determining masculinity ideas in humans.
Findley indicates that departing to war has psychological effects to man. Men are instructed into violence. A man is psychologically disturbed when he knows he has to go to war. Similar men exist out in the streets gangs of the youths as zombies, extremely defensive of their manhood, challenging the soldiers who were dancing (Findley 207). If Ben had a chance to come to street with his greatcoat if would be assumed that he was a deserter and the societies patriotism could have come to that (208). The soldiers returned from the war filed with wounds that were very damaging… it was the women’s role to lift their morale and to deny the harshness of the wounds. The physical is not as damaging as psychological. The author shows that men feared psychological wound rather than physical wounds. The meaning of this in the cotemporary world as indicated by Findley is that men should not fear the physical experience that we get from time to time but we should fear the impacts that come with psychological contractions. It is evident from the novel that women are subjected to simple roles such as soothing their men when “wounded” indicating that their masculinity is designed for simple roles or duties.
It is clear that the author uses masculinity traits to identify characters in the novel. David is seen as feminine with weak masculine expectations while the novel as the real masculine image that can fight for the family-brave advocates Ben. The author also raises the notion of patriarch. A man is expected to take part in a battle and such a man is considered as the perfect being. However, the notion of perfection prevents an individual’s sense of perspective. Both Ben’s and David’s perspective and blurred. The masculine approach of the perfect father and soldier suggests that David was firm with his Son and Ben femininity. David was introduced to violence earlier in life this rendering his masculinity life similar to when he become a soldier. The author deduces that one’s masculine nature does not come one a mere trial it is a learned process.
The masculine identity has been portrayed to be a negative psychological issue by Findley. In regards to soldiers, the concept of masculinity has been distorted. The man’s social identity defined as a provider, leader and protector have produced negative psychological outcomes; David has been psychologically castrated on returning home from war. The psychological, however, has given a sense of false perfection. The memories Ben has of David pre-war are blurred, as it can be assumed that a soldier registering for war would have strong masculine complex.
The perfect father, or man, is a myth. The man is associated with a strong individual and not its antithesis, the feminine. David has experienced psychological castration; a ‘failed’ soldier is not considered to be a man. The man’s psychological wounds outweigh the physical wounds. As a ‘failed’ soldier, David has lapsed into a feminine boy, as Lily is motherly towards David. David has attacked Lily and Ben in an attempt to confront his masculine insecurities. Timothy Findley has explored the harmful impacts of masculine psychological castration in “Stones” through the soldier by arising the notions of indoctrination into violence, the myth of perfection and the clash of the masculine and feminine. Man was bred to be a soldier.