A Separate Peace

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A Separate Peace

Obstacles after obstacles came in the path to success. In the novel A Separate Peace, John Knowles revealed a very strong idea through one of his characters. Through Gene it was revealed that weak individual who once was weak morally and mentally can become a strong and a more matured person. John Knowles revealed this idea through Gene’s perspective; symbolism; and also Gene’s speech/action.

Gene had proved many things through only his perspective. He had intriguing thoughts, which gave many idea’s about Gene post personality and his surroundings. “Looking back now across fifteen years, I could see with great clarity the fear I had lived in…” (Pg.2) This quote thus revealed that Gene was quite a weak individual. For if someone who lives in fear is considered morally weak, scared of the society and shy, insecure and who had a lack of confidence. Which Gene was in the beginning of the novel. “Yes he had practically saved my life. He had also practically lost it for me.” (Pg. 25) This quote exposed that Gene was in the middle of his mental metamorphosis. Gene in the first part of his quote seemed strong, but when he twisted it to make Finny, his best friend look bad, he still seemed to be morally weak, but in a more stronger moral state then before. “ Now I knew that there never was and never could have been any rivalry between us. I was not of the same quality as he.” (Pg. 51) This quote showed a completely changed Gene. Gene became stronger by realizing the reality, he now had realized that there was no use in competing with anyone. Although this was recognizing Gene’s change only perspective wise.

There were many deep meanings that Gene had from significant things from his past. The two main significant symbolic things for Gene were the tree and the stairs. “Although they were old stairs, the worn moons in the middle of each step were not very deep. The marble must be unusually hard….” (Pg. 3) This quote proved that the marble represented some of his so called “friend”, in other words referred to Brinker and Leper. For they had used him and indirectly killed Finny, who was Gene’s real friend. For the Marble looked rich and good, but it’s real texture was cold and hard, just like Brinker and Leper were, as Gene had found out later on in the story.

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