A Separate Peace Essay

Topics: John Knowles, Peace Breaks Out, Stairway Pages: 3 (954 words) Published: March 2, 2014

In essence, a thing is characterized as an object having both physical and physiological components.  As cliché as it seems, a picture has a thousand words. Although a person’s eyes tend to produce the same image over and over again, he or she will see things in a different perspective every time. In time, a person’s perspective on certain things will change overtime no matter how set in stone the status-quo is. Personal experiences play a large role in shaping someone’s outlook on things. In John Knowles’ novel, A Separate Peace, Gene states, “So the more things remain the same, the more they change after all” (Knowles 6). This quote is being used as much older and mature Gene returns to Devon and reflects upon his childhood at the school. Although Devon looks physically the same to Gene as it did 15 years ago, he comes to realization that his view of the school and the things inside of it have changed. Upon his return at Devon School, Gene mentions two “fearful” sites that he wishes to see again. This implies that Gene must still be “fearful” of the dreadful events that took place at these sites many years ago. One of sites he visits is the “long white marble flight of stairs” that he used walk up and down as a student. He states, “The marble must be unusually hard. That seemed very likely, only too likely, although with all my thought about these stairs this exceptional hardness had not occurred to me. It was surprising that I had overlooked that, that crucial fact” (Knowles 10). Gene’s emphasis on the “exceptional hardness” of the stairs signifies the impact it had on himself. In addition, it also foreshadows the “rocky” relationship between Gene and Phineas and how it will eventually lead to Phineas’ death. Although the stairs bring back painful memories for Gene, he actually finds relief in revisiting them. Gene goes to explain, “There was nothing else to notice; they of course were the same stairs I had walked up and down at least once every...
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