A Separate Peace By John Knowles: A Character Analysis

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Becoming an adult, it requires responsibilities and maturity, but loss of innocence. In the novel, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Gene returns to Devon after fifteen years, reminiscing about his experiences and memories as a sixteen year old boy during the war. Throughout the novel, Gene explains his growth from adolescence into adulthood through his eccentric friendship with Finny and the war’s impact on him. Gene considers Finny a confident, athletic, audacious and easily liked person. Often Finny pushes Gene out of his comfort zone by doing crazy activities like jumping off the tree next to the Devon River where Finny’s accident occurs. In the novel, Finny accident plays a tremendous role in Gene’s life because Finny’s accident is the …show more content…
When Gene hears Leper assert “ [the army] turned everything inside out” it hit Gene that he cannot evade the war (140). Distracting himself from reality does not make the war go away. As Gene faces the war by enlisting, Gene begins to fully grow into a man. Due to the war, Gene believes, “… gone were all the fantasies such as the Olympic Games for A.D. 1994, closed before they had ever been opened” (149). Training for the Olympics helps Gene distract himself from the reality of the war. Not only does Gene try to distract him self from the war but he also tries to distract himself from his internal conflicts. Because Gene successfully distracts himself from the war, running away from the war exemplifies a childish way to solve the problem. Meanwhile, going to Devon and graduating at Devon, Gene has always involves himself to a war as “[he] was on active duty all [his] time at school, [he] killed [his] enemy there” (193). Gene considers his battle with Finny as his major conflict. Inevitably, Gene accepts that he cannot undo the damage he has caused as the war between Gene and Finny ends. Gene comprehends the fact that once the damage is done, it cannot be

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