A Separate Peace Reflection Essay

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One always accepts the world with which they are presented, and the same rule applies in literature. Everything in a story is filtered through the narrator, so that brings up the question of how one can be certain they are being told pure fact and reason. The answer, although no one wants to believe it, is that the reader has absolutely no way of knowing; however, once the reader understands that, they become aware of an even greater truth: they will never know the actuality of any story. Literary works are filled with tensions and paradoxes, which is what makes them so interesting to read. People are drawn to immensely paradoxical stories because they can be interpreted in a multitude of ways, but what if the author took a simple paradox just …show more content…
With a sudden transition like that it is viable that the boys could not cope with it, so to make their stay easier they created Finny as someone to keep their childlike wonder alive. Since all of the boys imagined Finny together, it makes sense why he is full of so many paradoxes: all of the boys have very different personalities, experiences, and dreams, which are all being poured into one character. The very first thing about Finny that brings about suspicion is that he is a main character like Gene, yet he does not have a last name. To build off of that, he acts like a child in an exceptional number of ways, not at all like a boy going off to war. Finny talks his way out of trouble because he thinks there is a chance for friendship, just like how small children believe that everyone is, or can be, a friend. He also makes up his own games with his own rules, and never lets anyone lose to be sure to keep the fun and peace. The boys maintain their fun spirit the whole time they have Finny around, but when Gene starts worrying more about his grades and starts exhibiting signs of pressure and worry, Finny breaks his leg. This is because all of the boys took part in creating Finny, so the boys individually can take part in breaking him, …show more content…
By incorporating the full idea of childhood and innocent youth into a living character he showed the readers just how fragile it truly is. Finny stayed with Gene throughout most of the novel, so one’s childhood can stay with them for a very long time, sometimes most of their life, but only if it is fought for. Gene had to work like he was going to be in the Olympics, hold back from enlisting, and go along with most of Finny’s games to keep his childhood alive. After he started experiencing real world problems, though, he wanted to enlist and stop taking part in those games, which started breaking Finny and caused his childhood to start chipping away. Knowles is showing his readers that one’s childhood cannot be replaced or duplicated and cannot be destroyed by anyone but oneself by Gene’s narration at the end of the book: “No one else I have ever met could do this. All others at some point found something in themselves pitted violently against something in the world around them…Phineas alone had escaped this. He possessed an extra vigor, a heightened confidence in himself, a serene capacity for affection which saved him. Nothing as he was growing up at home, nothing at Devon, nothing even about the war had broken his harmonious and natural unity. So at last I had.” (202-203). The author had stumbled upon unadulterated genius when he constructed the idea of

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