Knowles' Separate Peace Essays: Loss of Innocence

Knowles' Separate Peace Essays: Loss of Innocence

Length: 765 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview



Loss of Innocence in A Separate Peace

 

In the human nature, naive ignorance of the world's imperfections eventually yields to the recognition that the world does contain hatred and violence.  John Knowles places his novel A Separate Peace in situations which necessitate this emotional transformation.  The characters become increasingly aware of the nature of the world.  In addition, symbols help show the interrelation of ideas and events as they appear in Gene's subconscious mind.  In this novel, setting, character, and symbols develop the theme of loss of innocence.

 

    Setting expatiates the theme of loss of innocence.  For example, the four major characters in this story are sixteen and seventeen years old, which is the age when teenagers prepare to end their childhood and become adults.  Also, the Devon school, where the story takes place, is a place where boys make the transition to full adulthood, and so this setting shows more clearly the boys' own growth.  Finally, World War II, which in 1942 is raging in Europe, forces these teenage boys to grow up fast; during their seventeenth year they must evaluate everything that the war means to them and decide whether to take an active ...


... middle of paper ...


...nature.  Finally, the tree off which Finny and Gene jump represents the Tree of Knowledge; jumping from the tree is against the rules, and in doing so the boys symbolically accept the loss of their innocence as Adam and Eve did by eating of the forbidden fruit.  Symbols certainly convey the theme of loss of innocence.

 

    In John Knowles' novel A Separate Peace, the theme of loss of innocence is skillfully developed through setting, character, and symbols.  This story simply details a young man's entering the adult world as all children do.  Everyone suffers loss of innocence.

 

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

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

- 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....   [tags: A Separate Peace]

Better Essays
513 words (1.5 pages)

Essay about Loss of Innocence

- In A Separate Peace, John Knowles carries the theme of the inevitable loss of innocence throughout the entire novel. Several characters in the novel sustain both positive and negative changes, resulting from the change of the peaceful summer sessions at Devon to the reality of World War II. While some characters embrace their development through their loss of innocence, others are at war with themselves trying to preserve that innocence. Knowles foreshadows the boys’ loss of innocence through the war, and their constant jumps from the tree....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Knowles]

Better Essays
1336 words (3.8 pages)

The Fall of Innocence in A Separate Peace Essays

- “Holding firmly to the trunk, I took a step toward him, and then my knees bent and I jounced the limb. Finny, his balance gone, swung his head around to look at me for an instant with extreme interest, and then he tumbled sideways, broke through the little branches below and hit the bank with a sickening, unnatural thud, It was the first clumsy physical action I had ever seen him make. With unthinking sureness I moved out on the limb and jumped into the river, every trace of my fear forgotten.” (Knowles 59-60)....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
997 words (2.8 pages)

Destruction Caused by Fear in Lord of the Flies and a Separate Peace Essay

- Have you ever been so afraid for your life that you would do anything to save it. Or been so scared of something you felt like you became a different person afterwards because of the experience. Well, the characters of Lord of the Flies and A Separate Peace all have encountered these experiences and their lives have changed forever because of the destruction caused by fear. Lord of the Flies is set during the time of World War 2 and is about a group of 7-12 year old boys who are hopelessly stranded on an uncharted island after a devastating plane crash leaving them completely without adult supervision....   [tags: innocence, nature, fear]

Better Essays
948 words (2.7 pages)

Analysis of John Knowle's A Separate Peace, and William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

- Civilization versus savagery, order versus chaos, reason versus impulse, law versus anarchy, or simply good versus evil infinitely describe the dreadful encounters of humanity. Every battle, every political struggle, every account of internal strife embodies these conflicts. World War II demonstrates the key clash of good versus evil within society, being the most deadly, destructive and consequential war in history. After beginning in 1939, the war raged for six more years. The war’s estimated fatalities reach as high as 70 million, opening everyone’s eyes....   [tags: Compare&Contrast, Human Nature]

Better Essays
1688 words (4.8 pages)

John Knowles 's A Separate Peace Essay

- War and Rivalry in “A Separate Peace” by John Knowles John Knowles, the author of “A Separate Peace” novel, was born in 1926 in West Virginia, Fairmont to be specific. The book was first published in 1960. Though it was Knowles’ first book, surprisingly the novel won great awards and hence lots of audience in the United States of America. The story is centered on a teenager named Devon, schooling at Phillips Exeter Academy. He writes: “But, of course, fifteen years before there had been a war going on....   [tags: World War II, War, Phillips Exeter Academy]

Better Essays
1460 words (4.2 pages)

Breakdown of Civilization Essay

- Civilization versus savagery, order versus chaos, reason versus impulse, law versus anarchy, or simply good versus evil infinitely describe the dreadful encounters of humanity. Every battle, every political struggle, every account of internal strife embodies these conflicts. World War II demonstrates the key clash of good versus evil within society, being the most deadly, destructive and consequential war in history. After beginning in 1939, the war raged for six more years. The war’s estimated fatalities reach as high as 70 million, opening everyone’s eyes....   [tags: A Separate Peace, The Lord of the Flies]

Better Essays
1688 words (4.8 pages)

Symbols in A Separate Peace, by John Knowles Essay

- The theme “rite of passage” was used in the novel A Separate Peace, by John Knowles. This moving from innocence to adulthood was contained within three sets of interconnected symbols: summer and winter, the Devon and Naguamsett Rivers, and peace and war. These symbols served as a backdrop upon which the novel was developed. The loss if Gene Forrester’s innocence was examined through these motifs. The summer and winter sessions symbolized Gene’s loss of innocence. During the summer sessions, the boys of Devon were carefree and showed no respect for the rules, while the teachers put no effort into enforcing the rules....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
592 words (1.7 pages)

Comapring Adolescence in A Separate Peace and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

- Adolescence in A Separate Peace and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland         Through life, we travel down a yellow brick road, oftentimes meeting friends and foe, whilst dreaming of making our way back home. However, unlike Dorothy, or her friends traveling through Oz, our struggles on this journey as pilgrims to our fate cannot usually be solved by clicking our heels together, saying "There's no place like home." Instead, we must find our lost souls and confirm them into a new being, one with a defined name and role....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Free Essays
1898 words (5.4 pages)

Separate Peace Essay: Self-Examination in A Separate Peace

- Self-Examination A Separate Peace opens as Gene Forrester returns to Devon School, a New England prep school, about fifteen years after he was in attendance there. World War II had just begun then and he remembers the Summer Suicide Society--an organization founded by his best friend, Finny, which devotes itself to initiating members by having them jump from the tree into the river. Gene and Finny always had to take the first jump from the tree. As time goes on, Gene begins to resent Finny because of his athletic talents and on one occasion, he jounces the limb so that Finny will fall....   [tags: Separate Peace Essays]

Free Essays
931 words (2.7 pages)