Theme and Meaning in A Separate Peace

Topics: World War II, War, Narrative Pages: 2 (557 words) Published: May 19, 2014
What is theme in literature? Theme is in simplest the moral of the story; it is the lesson readers should receive that is significant to the entire text. Theme also can be what the story mostly focuses on. Stories often have a few themes, but typically there is central theme that ties the entire work together. Within A Separate Peace, friendship, adolescence (youth and growing up), warfare, identity (identifying one’s true self), reflection (memories and the past), and a combination of jealousy and fear are a few words to sum up the major themes within the written work. The one to most fully take to heart is the sense of identity. Identity is such an importance within the novel, especially due to the fact that the two main characters (Gene- the narrator, and Phineas) being two almost opposite characters. Gene being more of the brains, while Phineas being the athlete feels he needs to up the ante in academics when Phineas displays his athletic abilities. Gene feels a constant comparison between himself and his close friend. He also always allows himself to be persuaded by Phineas, and finds difficulty standing up for himself and finding his true identity and place due to the fact he feels he is in a constant competition. Later on due to events that occur, Gene struggles but tries to create an identity for himself outside of Phineas. Warfare is made obvious within the story. The setting of the story is set within the early years of World War II. During this time children were forced to grow up, losing their sense of youth and childhood. Not only was their war in the world around them, but also war occurred in the personal life of Gene. The book asserts that we all identify enemies in the world around us, that we make it our life mission to go against them just to have an object for our hate and fear. While warfare provides a deeper meaning than just the setting, so does the point of view when it comes to the major premise of memory and reflection within the story....
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • A Separate Peace Themes Essay
  • A Separate Peace: the Theme Rite of Passage Essay
  • A Separate Peace Research Paper
  • A Separate Peace Essay
  • Essay about Separate Peace
  • A Separate Peace Themes Essay
  • Separate Peace Essay
  • A Separate Peace Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free