An Analysis of A Separate Peace by John Knowles

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Wednesday, May 17 - Why does Phineas deny the existence of the war? Explain your answer with references to the text. Although it is very apparent that there is a war being fought, Finny continues to hide from the reality and doubts the existence of the war. The reason for this was because of the fact that he could not participate in it and he is therefore denying its existence. In the book, Brinker approaches Gene and questions him about the fact that he has not made any steps towards enlisting and says that Gene isn't joining the war because he pitied Finny, who could jot join because of his hurt leg.

Later in the novel, right before the "trial" in the assembly hall Finny finally has a conversation with Gene where he states that he in no longer going to keep himself sheltered from the fact that there was a war going on. He stated that If the war could make somebody as crazy as it had made Leper then admit had to be real. "That's the world, we might as well admit it. Leper's gone crazy; When I heard about Leper, I knew that the war was real, this war and all the other wars. If a war can drive somebody crazy, then its real all rite. Oh I guess I always knew…" (Knowles 155) This quote, spoken by Finny occurs when Finny is final able to stop hiding from reality and admit that there was a war going on.
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