Analysis of A Separate Peace
Maturity: One of the most prominent and outspoken theme in A Separate Peace is the struggle the young adult population must endure during their race to maturity from childhood. The reader can tell that it is difficult for the main characters to cope with the war, especially Finny, who refuses to admit the war actually exists, although deep down his true belief is that the war is more dangerous than ever. To be frank, the boys in the novel seem to have grown up in a very sheltered environment, and their maturity level is low to begin with. However, the constant pressure to become a man, join the army, and contribute to one’s country causes the race to maturity to be a key theme.
Fear: Another often reoccurring theme in A Separate Peace is the obvious temptation to overcome one’s fear. This theme presents itself in many different forms, the most prominent of these being the tree by the river. This tree represents the temptation to overcome ones strength in two different occurrences; one being the primary jump from the upper limb into the cold waters of the nearby river, and the other being the fear of Finny’s fate after Gene bounces the limb and sends him plummeting to the ground. Gene’s fear of the latter event was eventually overcome near the end of the novel, as if his fear died along with Finny. It seemed that the fear, anxiety, and stress he felt concerning the incident was triggered by the constant appearance of Finny throughout the rest of Gene’s recount on his like in high school; much like the fear, anxiety, and stress of the entire young adult population was brought on by the war. A Separate Peace portrays the theme of the desire to overcome fear very well in this novel. Competition: A very popular theme to A Separate Peace is the idea of competition, both within friends, and between enemies. In fact, it is this sudden drive to win and succeed that subsequently resulted in Finny’s injury, and ultimately his death. This...
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