A Separate Peace By John Knowles Essays

A Separate Peace By John Knowles Essays-44
There was a moment of total, impersonal panic, and then Finny’s hand shot out and grabbed my arm, and with my balance restored, the panic immediately disappeared.” (Knowles, 24) In this instance Finny saves Gene from falling out of Finny’s world and into Gene’s reality. I wouldn’t of been on that d#%* limb except for him.The characters, Gene and Finny, are the opposing forces in a struggle between the reality of war (World War II) and a separate peace.

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Gene appears to understand the reality of war and how it affects people.

Throughout the entire story Gene is used to bring the destructive reality of war into everyday life at Devon High School where there is an attempt to create and exist in a separate peace.

” (Knowles, 29) Finny likes this idea and goes with it. After all of the parts of the games were invented Gene realizes, “That he unconsciously invented a game which brought his own athletic gifts to their highest pitch.

” (Knowles, 31) The odds were tremendously against the ball carrier, so that Phineas was driven to exceed himself practically every day when he carried the ball.

It is the moment when his emotions achieve their most powerful sway over him, and afterward when you say to this person ” the world today” or “life” or “reality” he will assume that you mean this moment, even if it is fifty years past.

The world, through his unleashed emotions, imprinted itself upon him and he carries the stamp of that passing moment forever.“(Knowles, 25) This is when Gene knows he was out of his reality and into Finny’s world, and Finny’s world could have taken his life.This game goes on to progress into a more warlike atmosphere.The idea of Gene understanding that this is Finny’s world omes in chapter three. I wouldn’t have turned around and so lost my balance, if he hadn’t been there.I didn’t need to fell any tremendous rush of gratitude toward Phineas.” This game consists of jumping of the limb of a tree into the river by Devon. “We were standing on a limb, I a little farther out than Finny.As the game is invented, both Finny and Gene, agree to start it by being the first ones to jump out of the tree into a river. I turned to say something else, some stalling remark, something to delay even a few seconds more, and then I realized that in turning I had begun to lose my balance?Gene goes on to explain how he and Finny signed up trainees on the spot and how they initiated them every night.This is like the basic training and initiating of real soldiers in a war.The next paragraph shows that this is true where Gene continues, “For me, this moment-four years is a moment in history-war the war. Nothing in America stands still for very long, including the people, who are always either leaving or on leave.” (Knowles, 32) This is what Gene stands for in the book A Separate Peace.


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