Essay on A Separate Peace By John Knowles

1277 Words Feb 16th, 2015 6 Pages
The novel “A Separate Peace” by John Knowles takes place in New England during World War 2. Gene and Finny’s friendship is a combination of different feelings. They admire and respect each other, but Gene is jealous of Finny’s athletic ability. Jealously causes Gene to compete with Finny. Gene tries to excel in his academics to even up with Finny. Their friendship blurs who they are, as Gene begins to live his life for Finny. Gene is becoming part of Finny, therefore losing his own identity. The summer session was carefree and ebullient. In the summer, the teachers do not enforce the rules as much and the boys have lots of fun. However, the winter session was stricter and dull. The full-time teachers are back and enforce the rules. Finny breaks his leg by falling out of a tree, but he is now back at school and plans to host a winter carnival. Finny comes up with the idea of a Winter Carnival to take their minds off the war. Although the festivities of the winter carnival suggest that the boys have been successful in creating a separate peace, Knowles’ use of war imagery in describing the setting, prizes, and the boys’ behavior suggests that this peace is illusory.

Knowles uses war imagery in the setting of the winter carnival to establish that this peace is illusory. Finny comes up with the idea of having a carnival, “We’ll have it in the park next to the Naguamsett.” The Devon river is clean, protected and was used in the summer session. The Naguamsett river is marshy and…

Related Documents