Theme Of Truth In John Knowles A Separate Peace

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Human beings spend their entire lives searching for their reason for existence. Often times, the inner being that resides in every person contains the truth, making self-realization the key to the indispensable knowledge of existence. The truth; however, often reveals the dark side of human nature that only acceptance can help overcome, leading to improvement. In John Knowles’s A Separate Peace, characters such as Leper struggle with the acceptance of their discovered inner truth. Discovery of the truth shatters Leper’s romanticized view of the world: turning his politeness and naivety into a corrupted, angry juxtaposition of his former self, and transforming his flowery and illusionary perspective into a reflection of the shock of reality …show more content…
His refusal to move forward after his discovery results in his change of personality and perspective. The illusory peace, which Leper lived in, hid him from confrontation with himself, and as a result, brings out who his true character upon revelation. Instead of seeking out his reason for existence, Leper gets caught up in comparing the differences between his previous made up world and the that meets him at boot camp. Humans strive for consistency, and, as creatures of habit, react strongly upon disturbance of equilibrium. Life, however; presents consistency in the form of change, a “contentious harmony” (12) of bittersweet memories and unknown challenges to come. Through acceptance of the world and the inner being, an individual builds true harmony and peace out the coexistence of war and peace. Leper fails to see the ideas of war and peace come together in himself and the world, resulting in his change brought forth by his resistance to acceptance. On the whole, Leper learns about the darkness in the world and himself through exposure to the truth, but changes due to his inability to recognize the interwoven aspects of war and peace

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