Abolization And Symbolism In John Knowles's A Separate Peace

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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).
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Setting provided the means necessary for informing the reader of how important enlisting was in the United States during World War II. The extremely negative views towards those who were unable to enlist by American society were expressed using the characterization of Finny and Leper in the novel. Symbolism was an important literary device used by Knowles in order to effectively inform the reader of how important it was in American society to put all resources towards the war effort. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, uses characterization and setting, along with symbolism, as a means for including the historical importance of American society’s attitude and use of resources in the early 1940s in relation to World War

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