Comparing A Turn with the Sun and A Separate Peace

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Essay Comparing A Turn with the Sun and A Separate Peace Although many similarities exist between A Turn with the Sun and A Separate Peace, both written by John Knowles, the works are more dissimilar than alike. A Separate Peace is a novel about the struggle of a senior class in the face of World War II, and it focuses on two best friends, Gene Forrester and Phineas. A Turn with the Sun is about a young man who struggles to fit in as a freshman in the closed microcosm of a senior dominated school who struggles, vainly, to make a name for himself. Knowles wrote A Turn with the Sun in the third person. His character, Lawrence is trying to make a name for himself as an underclassman. He suffers from a poor self image, as "Lawrence sensed once again that he was helplessly sliding back, into the foggy social bottom-land where unacceptable first-year boys dwell." (A Turn with the Sun:12) He sees his achievements and failures as analogous to his worth as a person. He feels that he is a failure, yet is thankful that, "...the hockey captain had never invaded his room, as he had Fruitcake Putsby's next door, and festooned his clothes through the hall; he had never found a mixture of sour cream and cereal in his bed at night, no one had ever poured ink into the tub while he was bathing. The victims of such violations were genuine outcasts." (A Turn with the Sun: 12) The other boys see Lawrence as an annoyance rather than an exile, while he feels that he is better than the other boys at Devon. This is reinforced when he thinks, "When he plunged from the railing he had been just another of the unknown new boys, but when he broke the surface of the water in that remarkable dive, one that he had never attempted before and was never to repeat, he became for his schoolmates a boy to be considered." (ATurn with the Sun:13) The dive serves as an inauguration into the school's social system. It is symbolic of risk, achievement and imperfection; it brings together the gap between the river, which represents the unknown, and the bridge one stands on, the tangible world where the boys feel secure. Lawrence, like Leper who will be discussed later, "...merely inhabited the nether world of the unregarded, where no one bothered him or bothered about him.
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