Analysis on A Separate Peace
Telgen states John Knowles was born on 16 September 1926, in Fairmont, West Virginia. At the age of fifteen, Knowles attended New Hampshire's prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy. The Devon school, where most of the actions of A Separate Peace take place, is based on Phillips Exeter.
After graduating from Exeter, Knowles entered Yale University for the 1944 fall term before going into the U.S. Army Air Force. After being discharged from service, he returned to Yale and continued his studies. In 1449 Knowles graduated with a B.A. in English. In 1953, Story Magazine published his first story, A Turn in the Sun. During the 1950's Knowles started to work on the novel that would become his most famous, A Separate Peace. However, getting the book published did not come easily at all. Turing the manuscript over to a literary agent, Knowles saw his book rejected by eleven publishers. Finally, in 1959, the London publisher Secker and Warburg agreed to put out the British edition of the novel. Following A Separate Peace, Knowles went out to publish other novels, including Morning in Antibes, The Paragon, and A Vein of Riches. In 1981, Knowles published Peace Breaks Out; the sequel to A Separate Peace. Although A Separate Peace did not become an instant "best-seller", it has gradually become a commercial success, selling more than nine million copies (Telgen 241). Gene Forrester returns to visit the campus of Devon School, an all-boys preparatory school in rural New Hampshire. Two locations bear a mysterious significance to him, the first being a marble staircase inside a classroom building. The second is beneath a tree growing near the Devon River. After standing outside, time moves back fifteen years to when Gene had still been a schoolboy standing near that same tree. His friend Finny urges him to climb its branches and jump off to simulate abandoning a torpedoed ship. At the time, World War II is waging on in the outside...
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