Essay about Analysis Of ' A Separate Peace '

1883 Words Aug 20th, 2015 8 Pages
Set amidst the turmoil of the 1940s but featuring boys who are minimally affected by it, A Separate Peace narrates the lives of Finny and Gene, who experience mental and physical repercussions of World War II yet never go so far as to even enlist in the army. Despite their isolation in a New England boarding school far from the true horrors of war, elements of the international conflict still weave themselves into the students’ everyday lives, allowing Knowles to express his opinions on the war without showing the gruesome details of it, utilizing his two main characters, Phineas and Gene. Phineas is what Gene is not - an idealistic, nearly impossible human being who has no innate need for competition. Gene is the opposite. The two form a close bond despite their moral differences, and are already nearly inseparable in the early parts of the book - a reason why the later damages to their friendship are so harmful. Knowles effectively takes advantage of the boys’ unique relationship and utilizes the differences between Finny and Gene as the book progresses to comment on the often petty nature of war and the need of many people to create enemies that may not even exist, even in times of relative peace.
For the boys at Devon, the most peaceful time of the year was the summer session, something created only to keep up with the fast-paced world of World War II. Despite its purpose to further advance learning, the summer lacks the strictly educational feeling of the rest of the…

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