Essay about A Separate Peace By John Knowles

1114 Words Sep 28th, 2015 null Page
A Separate Peace takes place in America in 1942 and is focused around how World War II affected high school boys. The distribution of resources in order to aid the war effort is a key point, along with how those who could not help were treated in the novel. Knowles’ story also mentions the issue of how the war was coming closer to teenage boys in America who should not have to fight. In A Separate Peace, Knowles uses characterization and setting within the novel, as well as symbolism, in order to include the historical importance of World War II in American society’s attitude and use of resources in 1942.
John Knowles uses the story’s setting of America in 1942 and how it affected Americans to show WWII’s importance in A Separate Peace. The senior boys at Devon went through a vigorous school year that involved advanced classes, first-aid, and strict physical training, for war preparation. The stress placed on the seniors is revealed when Phineas became outraged over playing badminton and Gene attempts to him by telling Finny, “At least it’s not as bad as the seniors. They’re doing calisthenics” (Knowles 27). Since Devon has intense physical fitness activities for their seniors only, the rest of America must focused on the boys that would soon enlist as well. While the underclassmen were participating in simple sports, the seniors were participating in harsh exercises due to the fact that they would soon be sent to war. Many parents, especially fathers, of seventeen year old…

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