A Separate Peace Conflict Essay

742 Words 3 Pages
The novel, A Separate Peace, deals primarily with the internal conflicts of the protagonist Gene and the resulting external conflicts. John Knowles, the author, makes use of the extended metaphor of war to demonstrate the extent of Gene’s internal conflict. Additionally, by setting the novel in the midst of World War II the author furthers the comparison between what Gene was feeling and the actual war going on. However, Gene admits at the end of the novel that “[his] war ended before [he] ever put on a uniform; [he] was on active duty all [his] time at school; [he] killed [his] hero there.” Readers are greeted in the beginning of the book with Gene reminiscing about his time at Devon School. Gene reveals that the school feels as though …show more content…
The book implies that Finny was in fact ignoring the battle because he did not know his place in it. Finny tried multiple times to enlist in the actual war, but he was not accepted because of his injury. So, Finny decides to ignore the existence of the war by distracting himself with the Olympics and school. Perhaps, Finny is ignoring the rising conflict between himself and Gene in the same manner. Thus explaining his poor reaction to Gene and the others at mock trial set up by Brinker. Phineas finally had to come to terms with something he had been fervently denying – there was enmity between the two. A Separate Peace deals with several characters, each with their own unique internal dilemma. Brinker struggles with expectations put on by his family, and takes it out on others. Gene is unsure of his place in the ever-changing world around him. Phineas is left out from the world he once commanded, both in sports and in the actual war. Leper attempts to join the rest but ultimately it is too much for him and he loses his mind. While many external conflicts occur throughout the novel – fights, contact sports, pushing out of trees, etc. - the heart of all the problems in the novel are

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