The Metaphor of Innocence Depicted in John Knowles A Separate Peace Essay

The Metaphor of Innocence Depicted in John Knowles A Separate Peace Essay

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In A Separate Peace, author John Knowles uses the peace of summer and the war of winter as a metaphor of innocence. Several characters in this novel undergo changes, both positive and negative, as a result of the shift from a peaceful summer session at the Devon School, to the reality of World War II. While some characters embrace their evolution through the loss of innocence, others are at war with themselves to maintain their naïveté. By contrasting the states of war and peace in A Separate Peace, John Knowles suggests that if one does not evolve through the loss of innocence, he cannot survive the trials of life.
The summer session at Devon symbolizes the peace and youthfulness of the students; however, with the arrival of winter the innocence metamorphoses into order and discipline. The summer session is a time of freedom and adventure, with the teachers’ leniency and the students’ enthusiasm. Knowles suggests that Finny’s literal and symbolic fall marks the end of the peaceful summer session, as well as the wholesome innocence of Finny. Finny’s inability or perhaps unwilli...

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