Inner Conflict In A Separate Peace By John Knowles

873 Words 4 Pages
Inner conflict is a subject that many people deal with every day. Sometimes, in literature, an author uses inner conflict as a means to build suspense of the plot. Unlike external conflict, which is conflict between two characters, inner conflict is the battle between a character and themselves. In the novel A Separate Peace, the main character Gene battles inner conflict throughout the narrative. A Separate Peace is a novel about two teenage boys who are best friends that battle through jealousy and betrayal throughout the story. The author John Knowles implicated many uses of techniques and devices throughout the story that help develop the theme. Some of these techniques and devices used are foreshadowing, irony, and first person narration. …show more content…
Throughout the story, Gene feels resentment towards Finny’s athletic and moral superiorities. Gene believes that Finny resents him back for being at the top of their academic class. A display of irony in the novel is that Finny should feel jealous towards Gene’s academics, but doesn’t. This stirs Gene’s fire even more and in turn becomes jealous of Finny’s seemingly incapacity to become jealous. One example of irony in A Separate Peace is when Gene trains for the Olympics. Throughout the story, Gene is known for his studies and Finny is known for his athletics, but Gene is the one training for the Olympics to live through Finny’s dreams. This develops inner conflict because it shows that Gene would do anything for Finny, even though he resents him. Another example of irony in A Separate Peace is Finny’s death towards the completion of the story. In the story the doctor breaks the news by nervously and regrettingly stating, “It was a clean break,” and “anyone could have repaired it” (Knowles 92). It is considered irony because it was bone marrow, which is considered to be full of life in literature, is what ends up killing him. This appeals to inner conflict because Gene has to deal with the fact that his resentment ended up killing his best friend. Knowles use of irony helped shape the theme in many

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