A Separate Peace Analytical Essay
In the novel A Separate Peace by John Knowles one of the main characters, Phineas experiences a loss of innocence. This loss of innocence relates to a bigger theme in the novel. This bigger theme is that you must mature and evolve or you will perish. Phineas also known as Finny is very childish and prioritizes play over work, he has trouble accepting that there is a war going on, and he denies major events such as Gene jouncing the limb. Innocence must be lost in order to mature and Finny has a brutal time doing so.
One of Finny’s most overwhelming characteristic would be his childlike innocence. He invents a game called Blitzball where everyone furiously competes but no one wins, this perfectly represents Finny’s attitude towards life. Gene describes that Finny “unconsciously invented a game which brought his own athletic gifts to their highest pitch”(39), this describes how Finny always wants to be on top and show off his athletic talents to his friends. He wants them to continue playing with him so he sets it up so there in no winner and he can still come out on top but never declared the winner. He wants to keep the game fun for everyone because truly all he wants to do is play and have fun to keep everyone’s thought away from the war. Finny believes if he distracts everyone with his games and makes everyone have a carefree attitude like him they won’t leave him to go fight in the war. Another example of Finny being childish is his idea to create the “SSSSS” or the “Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session”. Gene describes the club as “a success from the start”(33) and “The Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session was a club; clubs by definition met regularly; we met every night. Nothing could be more regular than that. To meet once a week seemed to him much less regular, entirely too haphazard, bordering on carelessness. I went along; I never missed a meeting”(34). Finny used this club to draw the people close...
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