In the novel Separate Peace, John Knowles uses both positive and negative scenes throughout the novel. John Knowles does this to show how the setting can affect the characters and the events that are being taken throughout the novel. Knowles introduces right away that there are two big scenes, the summer session and the winter session, both playing big roles in the story’s plot and theme. The summer session would represent peace and the winter session would represent the distress brought on by World War II, the shift between them clearly confirms that Knowles intended to show how completely and abruptly the war overtook the peace at the summer session.
Knowles uses the summer session setting to symbolize peace. Knowles uses the positive setting described in this quote to reveal the importance of the setting: “They (elms) too seemed permanent and never changing, an untouched, unreachable world high in space, like the ornamental towers and spires of a great church, too high to be enjoyed, too high for anything, great and remote and never useful”. Knowles describes the setting like this to create a peaceful image representing the summer session as a time of peace. This also brings a vividly peaceful image to mind further connecting the concepts of summer and peace together which is later conquered by the war elements of winter.
Knowles uses the winter session setting to symbolize the distress of the war. Knowles uses this as the negative setting in the novel. In this quote, he describes the importance of the setting: “Not long afterward, early even for New Hampshire, snow came…They gathered there, thicker by the minute, like noiseless invaders conquering because they took possession so gently. I watched them whirl by my window-don’t take this seriously, the playful way they fell seemed to imply, this little show, this harmless trick”. Knowles uses words such as invaders and conquering to connect this image to the war zone. This shows Knowles’...
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