John Knowle’s A Separate Peace Essay
John Knowle’s A Separate Peace is novel that focuses in on characters and their reaction to the world around them. Since the book was written in the forties the reader knows that the backdrop is WWII. The author uses the backdrop of war to show how young boys develop bonds of friendship. So, therefor, the two themes of war and friendship are intertwined throughout the novel. One major theme that Knowles uses is friendship, a friend is someone that you have personal regard for, and in this novel the two characters that experience the bond of friendship are Gene and Finny.
Throughout the novel Gene and Finny are searching for their own needs, but for that they are drawn to each other. So, they sought out each other to fill their void. As the events unfold their bond is put to the test. For example, one true test to see if their bond would last was when Finny was pushed out of the tree by Gene and broke his leg. Their attachment was strong because of the trust and loyalship they shared. Not only were these boys’ friends but they were friends of each other’s classmates.
For insistence, the reader can see that friendship does develop when Gene is asked by Lepper to come done because he escaped. Leppers trust toward Gene is shown especially because Gene understands his emotional state. However all of these boys are drawn to each other because of the fo! rces surrounding them. So, for Gene and Finny, unlike Lepper, they realize their dependency on each other. Thus their friendship would not have evolved if it were not for war. Both Gene and Finny experienced an inner and outer war.
Internally the protagonists are searching for their own separate peace, and that is found At Devon Prep. School. There they are safe from the harsh external around them. Unfortunately the war becomes a reality when Lepper enlist. Before that all they saw about war was newsreels and pictures in the newspaper, and it didn’t seem so real. However, when Lepper enlist it becomes clear that war is inevitable for them. Additionally, the boys experience war when they play Blitz Ball because they work as indivisual units like in war.
Like wise, then Lepper and Finny become the causalities of war. Through fate and error each was lead to disaster, for Finny it was death, while for Lepper it was Temporary insanity. With their experience at Devon the boys realize that death and disaster are real, then war must be real as well. So in the beginning of the novel the characters romanticized about war, but now they have dreaded it because! it has become a reality. John Knowles carefully intertwines the themes of war and friendship carefully for the reader.
Without the settings of war these boys would not have been as significant. In peace times friendships would not have as many rough edges. So throughout the war the boys realize what friendship is really about. They come to terms with trust, confidence and loyalty and these are emotions that are learned by experience of being together. Thus in searching for each separate peace, they found not only those, but a bond of friendship that can not be broken, not even by death.