A Separate Peace


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What point of view does each character show in regards to their attitude to the war?

The war is a symbol of how things are not always what they seem. Recruiting posters and propaganda to join the army convinced many boys into thinking the war is an exciting adventure. “The characters Gene, Finny, and Leper are used as opposing forces struggle between that cold reality of war and a separate peace”(Brian, Gatten), A peace away from the real war and all the terrible things that come. The attitudes towards war of Finny, Gene and Leper reflect their approach to life. Finny does not face the reality in life nor the war, Leper (stands on the sidelines) is isolated from life and the war, while Gene is a follower in life and the war.

Finny does not face the reality in life nor the war by, finny first begins to create games. Because Phineas cannot face the reality of the real war. For him, these games are representative of the war. Finny made up these games and he made it so that he could be in control. This is just like Finny ‘s world of separate peace. Also finny does not fully understand the impact of war on people. He does not understand that war kills people physically and mentally. He also does not understand how it affects a person’s life.

Finny is not present for the beginning of the fall session at Devon and as a result, the statement “Peace had deserted Devon”(knowles, pg. 132). Is true indicates the lack of peace…”the peace that the school had come to know when finny was present.”(Brian, Gatten) “With the lack of this peace, the door is open for the reality that is war, to enter”. (Brian, Gatten)

Finny has his own reality, about the war. That is why he created the games to the substitute for the war.

Leper’s attitude towards to the war is that he feels that was does not affect him. Leper is much like Finny because of his innocent, romantic view of the world, he loves nature and especially skiing during the winter. Leper is not popular at Devon due to his oddities, but he does not give any attention to such things. He joins the army after seeing a film about their ski troops although he is not even fighting is the war; he is shocked to find military life to be much different from what he expects.

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Leper gets discharged because he appears to have a mental illness and has turned into a violent person. Leper definitely was not violent before he was in the war.

“I’m almost glad this war came along it’s like a test, isn’t it, and only the things and the people who’ve been evolving the right way to survive”(knowles, pg.109).

This quote by Leper got the students of Devon to realize how leper has proven that there is a war and that it can kill the body and spirit.

Leper’s attitude towards to the war is that, at the beginning he thought that the war did not affect him, but when he join the war he found the reality, miserable that people die and destroy their spirit and their life.

Gene’s attitude to the war is he appears to be confused on what is going on in regards to the war. After Finny death is the end of his childhood. He is forced to grow up when he realizes that he is living in a world full of hate, crime, and disappointment.

After Finny’s is gone, Gene says, “I was ready for the war, now that I no longer had any hatred to it. My fury was gone, I felt it gone, dried up at the source, withered and lifeless. Finny has assorved it and taken it with him and I was rid of it forever”. (Knowles pg.175) This is another example of how he war attitude furthers Gene’s advance into adulthood.

The characters Gene, Finny, and Leper are used as opposing forces struggle between that cold reality of war and a separate peace. Also they lack maturity in them. The only time that the war affected them is, when leper enlist in the army and found out that the reality of the war can kill people’s spirit and their body. Their relationships weaken and lead to death because they fail to learn these valuable life lessons.


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