A Separate Peace

Topics: Innocence, A Separate Peace, John Knowles Pages: 3 (1017 words) Published: November 7, 2013
Al Abdel-Razzaq
A Separate Peace (rough)

There are many well-known themes in the book A Separate Peace. One of the most themes is a coming of age for the boys who live and learn at Devon school. For some boys at this school, a coming of age means more opportunities, and for some others, means a chance to go from being a boy, to becoming a man. A large contradiction in this book is innocence vs. ignorance. For some boys the innocence will be destroyed in order for a coming of age to take place. In A Separate Peace by John Knowles, growing up at Devon school means that each and every boy will be faced with a simple decision, kill off your innocence, or let it destroy you, physically and/or mentally.

There are three main characters that are affected by innocence or ignorance. Leper was affected by innocence. Leper was an innocent student who was the very first student to sign up for the war, and the only reason he had done this is because he saw that soldiers were skiing. He loved to ski and it interested him. He had no idea what he was signing up for when he did. Leper had the innocence of a child. Even when he spoke he had a child’s way of putting his words. On page 93 the book explains how Leper never used to hear announcements due to him sketching in his notebook. The following page of the book explains Leper’s mild tentative voice and Leper himself explains how he was scared to go down the steep hills for skiing because he said you can break a leg on steep hills. It is true but the ages of the students at Devon are like 18 and that is an age where people their age are reckless. Leper is also interested in animals. He was searching for a beaver dam while the other boys were helping to shovel out railroad tracks. It also mentions him sketching birds in his notebook. One day while watching a video about the war, the boys saw some troops skiing. Leper had seen this and he became excited. He wanted to enlist, and he did. Leper was previewed as an innocent...
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