A Separate Peace

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Brittany Schafer
September 21, 2012
Period 4
A Separate Peace Final Draft

In the novel A Separate Peace by John Knowles, it relates to a complicated friendship of two young boys Gene and Phineas. Gene is jealous of Phineas’ achievements and lets his anger destroy their relationship. The boys at Devon in the summer of 1942 have to deal with the fear World War II brings. Each time the boys feel safe and peaceful, reality sets in and reminds them of the warfare around them. The boy’s mental stability is tested by the struggles of school and the causes of their actions. John Knowles’ A Separate Peace displays how fear, warfare, and friendship can affect a person’s innocence and youth.

Fear has affected Gene and made him paranoid with his friendship and war throughout the entire book. When Gene visits Leper after finding out Leper has escaped the war, Gene will not listen to Leper explain that he is insane. Gene tells Leper to shut up about the war and runs away crying because Gene is scared Leper has gone crazy. We know that Gene is frightened by what his friend has become by saying, “Do you think I want to hear every gory detail! Shut up!...This has nothing to do with me! Nothing at all! I don’t care!” (143) Just when Gene thought he had made the war less dreadful, his own best friend has gone mad because of it. Gene is fearful in the Assembly Room when Brinker accuses Gene of causing Finny’s accident. Gene feels overwhelmed when Brinker tells the two boys that he is, “ ‘Investigating Finny’s accident!’... I felt the blood flooding into my head.” (159) Gene tries to stay calm when Leper is called in to testify, reassuring himself that Leper has gone mad and no one will believe him. Gene lies to himself by thinking that “...Leper was no threat, no one would ever believe Leper; Leper was deranged...” (164) Finny is also frightened to believe that his own best friend could cause his accident and leaves the Assembly Room in tears. Gene realizes that Finny has...
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