A Separate Peace By John Knowles Essay

1484 Words Feb 7th, 2016 6 Pages
Why do people fear growing up? The progression from a child to an adult is only natural. yet many absolutely dread the idea of transitioning into adulthood. Set in New England during World War II A Separate Peace tells the story of two friend, Gene and Phineas, and their short lived time of being children. The two boys spend the last of their years at Devon concerned with preserving their innocence before the war takes them. But Gene learns a lot about himself during this time and in return grows a lot as a person. In A Separate Peace by John Knowles explores the theme of the pain of growing up with literary devices such as symbolism, setting, and narrative. Knowles uses the setting of the Naguamsett river to symbolize the harsh reality of adulthood. When describing the school of Devon Gene makes a comment about the Naguamsett river .“We never used this lower river, the Naguamsett, during the summer. It was ugly, saline, fringed with marsh, mud, and seaweed” (Knowles). Instead of simply stating the fact that it is a river he gives the readers an illustrative description of the river and just how nasty it is, Knowles wants the audience to feel the same hatred towards this river as Gene feels. But why does Gene loathe the Naguamsett river so much? He simply does not understand it. Gene mentioned that the Naguamsett river is joined by the ocean, so many unknown sources of water go through this river. Gene is unable to fully understand why the river is the way it is and…

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