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A Separate Peace Theme

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In the book A Separate Peace by John Knowles, the reader can perceive multiple themes throughout the novel, depending on how much detail they can get out of the story, when reading between the lines. When I read the novel A Separate Peace, I perceived a single, and in my opinion, a very significant theme of the book.

Before I launch into describing the main theme of the book, I must first make it obvious what the setting of the book is and how the book starts, as that has a significant effect on the theme of the novel. The novel takes place in the state of New Hampshire, Devon, during the times of the second World War (WWII persists only during the flashback). The novel starts when the main character, Gene, the protagonist, returns to his
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To begin with, one of the “fearful sites” is a tree by the river, because Gene, Finny, and other boys used to use one of its branches to dive into the river. On one random day when Gene was studying in his dorm room for the next exam. He worked a lot harder on hi school work, only to be better than Finny. Finny walked in and stated that Leper is about to jump from the branch into the river, to be a member of the club Gene and Finny had created, the Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session. Gene did not want to go, as he thought it was another of Finny’s envious plans to make sure Gene did not study, and he said so to Finny. Finny disagreed with Gene, saying that if he has to study he will let him, and that he is not here to stop him from accomplishing his goals. When Gene realized Finny wasn’t jealous of him, he went with Finny to the club meeting. When they got to the tree, Finny proposed they do a double-jump off the branch. When it was time to jump, Gene felt envious of Finny, of how he’s such a good friend, how Finny doesn’t envy him back, and how Finny was a perfect guy. Gene couldn’t live with it, he couldn’t stand being envious anymore, and so when he stood high up in the tree, Gene jounced the branch, and watched his friend fall and shatter his…show more content…
To begin with, as I described the first thematic pattern, I mentioned that Gene was the cause of Finny breaking his leg. When Finny broke his leg, the doctor told him he would never be able to be the athlete he once was, and that piece of information was heavy-hearted for him to hear. Finny basically lived as an athlete. He would always play games, make up new ones, as long as they weren’t competitive, and as long as there wasn’t a winner. Finny liked games where no one won and lost, just like the game he made up, “Blitzball”. In “Blitzball”, you would catch a medicine ball, and everyone else playing in the game would try to run and tackle you down, so you either ran away, or passed the ball to someone else. Now without a healthy leg, Finny would never be able to do that again, and he would never be able to be the way he wants himself to be. When Finny began to train Gene, it wasn’t because that he was a good friend and that he needed someone to take Finny’s place. The main reason Finny trained Gene for the 1944 Olympics, was because he wanted to share his dream of the 1944 Olympics that he would originally train for. In fact, Finny trains Gene as if Gene were a part of Finny, giving Finny an immense amount of joy and satisfaction when looking at Gene, or basically looking at himself. As mentioned in the first
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