Fall from Innocence in a Separate Peace

Topics: Tree, Sin, Branch Pages: 3 (1191 words) Published: May 9, 2013
“All things truly wicked start from innocence,” is a quote first said by Ernest Hemmingway, an author and journalist from Illinois. This quote is basically saying that innocence may start out as something seen as purity, in a person possessing this attribute, but eventually leads to immoral and sinful events. In my opinion this is because people who are said to be innocent are oblivious to the bad things that happen in the world, and when they do come to understand the evil in the world, they do not know how to react to it. Innocence can be lost in a number of ways but most innocence is lost through knowledge. In John Knowels’ A Separate Peace, the main character, Gene Forrester, gained new ideas and knowledge that replaced his innocence. This made him believe that he was better suited to live in his harsh reality of a life. In A Separate Peace, innocence and loss there of is one of the most apparent archetypes throughout the novel. Knowels uses this archetype to portray Leper’s philosophy of "Everything must evolve or it will perish." This philosophy is shown through the characters of Leper, Gene, and Finny. Gene Forrester, the narrator of A Separate Peace, showed the greatest innocence in the start of the book. At the beginning of the novel, the young Gene stood unconcerned and self-absorbed, by the tree that will test his true nature. Gene's innocence in the opening represented a childlike happiness in conformity. By obeying the rules -- occasionally rebelling only through mild sarcasm -- Gene maintained a comfortable life, predictable and unthreatening. Finny was one of the main reasons that Gene lost his innocence. Finny forced Gene to break the rules and do things such as go to the beach (46) -- students at Devon were supposed to remain on campus at all times -- and help to start the first Super Suicide Society (31): a group that meets every night and jumps off a branch into the river, something Gene would never have done on his own. If Gene hadn’t expanded...
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