A Separate Piece Literary Essay

Topics: A Separate Peace, Stairway, John Knowles Pages: 2 (714 words) Published: May 16, 2013
A separate peace: Literary Essay

In this literary essay we will be discussing a book “A separate peace” by John Knowles. In this book two boys named Gene and Finny are attending an establishment at Devon; the boys quickly bond but when Gene starts to get jealous he ends up killing his best friend. Gene ends up returning back to Devon to apologize, emotions quickly stir up. I will explain to you in one short essay how flashback is important to this story. We first run into flashback when Gene decides to visit Devon and remembers the “tree”; this tree holds value which you will see in a moment. The second thesis statement would be character vs. self, gene begins to notice his intentions towards finny are stronger than he thought. Lastly the staircase, all these things hold up great value to this story.

In the beginning of the story Gene goes back to visit Devon, he tells us about the tree beyond the river bend. “This was the tree, and it seemed to me standing there to resemble those men, the giants of your childhood, whom you encounter years later and find that they are not merely smaller in relation to your growth, but that they are absolutely smaller, shrunken by age.” page 7. To me the tree is the turning point in this book, here gene tells us that things in your past don’t go away, they just get older with age, and you don’t get any bigger. From jumping off of it, to having S.S.S meetings, and to having finny break his legs. If there was no flashback in this book then there really wouldn’t be a book in my opinion.

Throughout the whole book we are given little subliminal messages called foreshadowing. When gene talks on page 8 about “Nothing endures, not a tree, not love, not even a death by violence.” Being carved in the trees trunk, this gives us a hint about death. Directly when Gene mentions later on that his feeling for finny would change, the reader would assume that something is about to happen. What happens in this case, our...
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