A Separate Peace by John Knowles

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A Separate Peace by John Knowles

A Separate Peace was written by John Knowles in 1959 when he was 33. it is ser in a New Hampshire prep school during WWII. A few teens at this school are greatly affected by the war. Many adults are asking them to join the armed forces. Gene, the main character, trains with his once athletic star friend, Finny, for the Olympics. Although against the war many people request that he join. His other friend, Leper, joins and receives a Section 8 discharge for being considered "mentally unstable." Even though against the war, many of the boys do join the troops just to avoid being drafted to the front lines. This is also related to how many teens feel today. America is currently in a war which many people oppose but join the military for money or simply to travel. In times like these it is always good to reflect on the days of our ancestors and hear what it was like for them.

At Devon School the students feel obligated to join the forces because all of the adults who are instigating the war are constantly telling the boys the advantages of joining, knowing full well they themselves have no risk of getting hurt. Many of the boys buckle under the pressure and join, but others won't give in and decide to finish off their senior year of school. Unlike during WWII, teens do not feel the constant pressure to solve a war that their parents have started. Today's war is so controversial that saying that you oppose the war isn't as big a deal as it was during WWII.

At Devon its very hard to walk around on campus without talk of the war, as it is today, but today its very different. Today at school the kids will talk of both sides of the war, good and bad, not just the one side of it, as they did at Devon. Today we are more expressive of the war because not everyone agrees on the reason for the war. During WWII it was clear why they were at war and most of the nation agreed with it. Today we are a nation split in two, which is good because it allows people to speak their mind without criticism from the entire nation, but if you were to talk bad of the war during WWII, it was likely that you would be considered the most unpatriotic person in America.

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