John Knowles 'A Separate Peace'

Topics: World War II, John Knowles, A Separate Peace, War / Pages: 6 (1497 words) / Published: Oct 27th, 2016
Rare Peace and Bad Guilt There’s a war going on, and you have broken your best friend’s leg. How will you escape the consuming war, and cope with crippling your best friend? In A Separate Peace by John Knowles, this is what character Gene Forrester is going through. At the Devon school in New England, World War II is coming, and it’s taking everything with it. Because he is an upcoming senior, for Gene it’s either enlist or be drafted. Peers all around him are enlisting into the war, and there’s already been some consequences. Along with the war, Gene must find a way to gut though the guilt and help his friend Finny heal. Persuaded by the thought that Finny is using him, Gene causes Finny to fall from a tree branch and break his leg. Due to …show more content…
As summer turns to winter and Finny comes back to Devon there are a lot of things going on all around Gene. With snow covered fields and ice covered rivers there isn’t much to do other than work. As Gene works on the railroads clearing snow out of the way for trains, a train of soldiers goes past, igniting a larger fire in Gene and Brinker, a fellow classmate and friend.who convinces Gene to enlist with him. As Gene is returning to his dorm, he discovers Finny is back at school. One morning as Gene and Finny awake and Finny is complaining about no maids yet again because of the war, Brinker comes to carry out his plans to enlist with Gene. Finny talks sense into them and they both decide against enlisting. Finally the war begins to settle in their minds and the winter becomes more bearable. “ For the war was no longer eroding the peaceful summertime stillness I had prized so much at Devon, and although the playing fields were crusted under a foot of congealed snow and the river was now a hard grey-white line of ice between gaught trees, peace had come back to Devon for me (Knowles 109).” Now that the war was no longer the main concern, Gene was now able to find peace in the winter, as he had in the summer. Due to the war’s frightening and poignant nature, moments of peace become more meaningful. Peace is important because, like the eye of a storm, it provides a tranquil and unperturbed moment allowing for regroupment before the storm (in this case the war) sweeps you up again. Later as the jaws of war begin its second bite and people are getting swallowed up, Gene finds it more and more difficult to find

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