Literary Devices In A Separate Peace, By John Knowles

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John Knowles, the author of the novel A Separate Peace, uses three main literary techniques throughout his novel. These literary techniques are characterization, symbolism, and figurative language, they show how our identity comes from those around us and the choices that we choose to make. This novel takes place in New England during World War 2. The setting and time in this novel adds to my theme because when growing up in a war, certain personality traits might diminish or vanish in order to protect ourselves from the hard times the country is facing. Some traits that this often happens to in a state of crisis are innocence and the ability to not only think of those around you but also yourself. The attitude of the people around us in a …show more content…
The three literary devices I found were foreshadowing, hyperbole, and metaphor. But not only does he use these he uses simile, understatement and personification. On page 18 I found an example of foreshadowing, “We were the best of friends at that moments. “You were very good,” said Finny good-humoredly, “once I shamed you into it.” “You didn’t shame anybody into anything.”” (Knowles 18). Finny and Gene both have their insecurities. Gene’s is not being good enough to be friends with Gene, so he changes himself to be good enough. Only he becomes a second Finny. This quote shows the pressure he feels to adapt. Hyperbole and understatement, although contradictory, both helped prove that Gene and Finny shifted their characteristics because of the other. One hyperbole and understatement that conveys my theme is, “If I had fallen awkwardly enough I could have been killed. Finny had practically saved my life.” (Knowles 32) When analyzing this quote I noticed how John knowles both used hyperbole or dramatization and understatement or a calm tone in the same phrase. This shows the similarity and differences Gene and Finny have. The last literary device I annotated for was metaphor found on page 34. John Knowles says, “I was subject to the dictates of my mind, which gave me the maneuverability of a straight jacket.” (Knowles 34). The comparison …show more content…
The tree, it 's one of the first things we see when Gene returns to Devon Boarding school. We are first introduced to the trees’ importance on page 14, Knowles says, “This was the tree, and it seemed to me standing there to resemble those men, the giants of your childhood, whom you encounter years later and find that they are not merely smaller in relation to your growth,but they are absolutely smaller, shrunken by age.” (Knowles 14). To me while reading this quote I thought of the reference to the comparison of one 's growth to the shrinking of another. Finny and Gene pushed each other and eventually one had to give way and make room for the others personality. On page 17, the second quote I found references the points about character and how the tree forced Gene out of his comfort zone. “What was I doing up here anyway? Why did I let Finny talk me into stupid things like this? Was he getting some kind of hold over me? “Jump!” With the sensation that I was throwing my life away, I jumped into space.” (Knowles 17). Gene questions himself and his character and who he is becoming in this quote. For a split second recognizes the changes in his life and considers before being pressured into jumping and “throwing his life away”. A quote found on page 30 shows how unreachable Gene’s old self is without sacrifice. “They held high above, branches and branches, a world of

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