29 September 2006
Growth through Change: The Fall from Innocence into Awareness Growing up is an inevitable part of life. Since the beginning of time, starting with Adam and Eve, during this period of maturing, the body starts to grow, and mentally, the mind begins to develop, seeing life with a new perspective and realizing the harsh realities of the world. Just as a toddler must eventually learn to ride his bicycle without the training wheels, all people must learn to leave the safe haven of childhood and reach out for maturity. It is throughout the change from adolescent to adult that one leaves behind his innocence and other certain purities. One will usually experience this act of maturing or growing up as a result of a traumatizing event, sudden shock, or a terrible outcome. It is after developing into a full-grown individual that one can begin to make intelligent choices on his own, learn from his experiences, work successfully autonomously, and learn to accept his new outlook on life. In John Knowles’ novel, A Separate Peace, Gene Forrester matures from an innocent teen into an aware adult. Gene develops into an experienced adult, as he begins to understand that all aspects of his life change. He grows when he comprehends that the physical world transforms. Fifteen years after the loss of his good friend Finny, Gene Forrester finally returns to a very emotional scene, his old high school, Devon. Upon arriving, Gene is quite eager to find a special, certain tree. He trudges across the vast fields until he reaches the woods, where he begins to inspect the foliage. He is relatively surprised when he sees a scattered, uniform grove of trees. When a decade and a half ago, the same tree he had been looking for had appeared to be an immeasurable colossus compared to the others. Gene continues to look through the trees, examining each one, trunk by trunk. When he finally finds the single tree has been looking for,...