Essay on A Separate Peace

Essay on A Separate Peace

Length: 2608 words (7.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview



 A Separate Peace

 A Separate Peace is a novel by John Knowles that is about prep school experiences during World War II.  This book was a good story about an adolescents attempt to understand the world and himself.  I enjoyed reading about Gene's journey towards maturity and the adult world.


 This book takes place in Devon School, New Hampshire during a summer session when Gene Forrester was sixteen years old.  One day Gene and Finny, his friend and roommate, went to a large tree by the river.  Finny suggested that they try and jump from the tree into the river below them.  This jump was usually for older boys.  But they both made the jump successfully, and Finny formed the Summer Suicide Society, which is dedicated to members being initiated by jumping from the tree to the river.  Each time, Gene and Finny must go first, but Gene always has a fear of jumping.


 Finny always was considered the best athlete in school, and Gene tried to counterbalance by being the best student.  After a while of joining Finny's activities, Gene thinks that Finny is intentionally trying to make him fail out of school.  He starts to dislike Finny and his activities, and Gene starts interrupting his schoolwork to jump from the tree more and more often.  On one occasion, he thoughtlessly jounces the limb and Finny falls and breaks his leg.


 Finny's leg is so shattered that he will not be able to play sports again.  Gene is scared that Finny will tell that he intentionally pushed him off the tree.  After his first visit to the infirmary, Gene realizes that Finny trusts Gene completely and would never accuse Gene.  After summer vacation was over, Gene gu...


... middle of paper ...


...ee.  However painful, Gene is made a better person during his maturation through his suffering.  Through his pain and awful revelations about himself, Gene matures from an insecure child to a self-knowledgeable adult.


The significant quote that I chose for "A Separate Peace," is when Brinker says to Gene:  "There is a war on, here's one soldier our side has already lost.  We've got to find out what happened."  This remark relates to me because is determining and shows leadership.  He is determined to find out what happened and he will do whatever it takes to find out even if he has to break up a friendship.  I would have done the same thing.  If I had a friend, and he or she was intentionally pushed from a tree because someone was jealous of him or her, I would become angry and agitated until I got to the bottom of it. 

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Knowles' Separate Peace Essays: The Theme of A Separate Peace

- The Theme of A Separate Peace       The persistent theme of A Separate Peace is the deterioration of a complex friendship. The bond between two boys (Finny and Gene) becomes tested and attacked, as the reader observes a seemingly utopian relationship fall into decadence. Gene becomes challenged with various inner hostilities, while Finny, his proclivity for athletics revoked, has been forced to find acceptability and provocation elsewhere. Furthermore, the book commences during mid-to-late 1942, during the height of the Axis powers' success....   [tags: Separate Peace Essays]

Free Essays
465 words (1.3 pages)

Knowles' Separate Peace Essays: Maturity in A Separate Peace

- Maturity in A Separate Peace In A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, the focus spotlight is quickly turned upon Gene Forrester and his maturity through the novel. He expresses his ideas about the many subjects through the book through his position as the novel's narrator. Also, as the book progresses, so does Gene's maturity. The first chapter of A Separate Peace establishes the character Gene Forrester, who in actuality is a portrayal of John Knowles himself, according to a recent interview....   [tags: A Separate Peace Essays]

Powerful Essays
804 words (2.3 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)

Essay on A Separate Peace

- A Separate Peace A Separate Peace is a novel by John Knowles that is about prep school experiences during World War II. This book was a good story about an adolescents attempt to understand the world and himself. I enjoyed reading about Gene's journey towards maturity and the adult world. This book takes place in Devon School, New Hampshire during a summer session when Gene Forrester was sixteen years old. One day Gene and Finny, his friend and roommate, went to a large tree by the river. Finny suggested that they try and jump from the tree into the river below them....   [tags: Separate Peace Essays]

Powerful Essays
2608 words (7.5 pages)

Friendship and Hatred in A Separate Peace Essay

- Friendship and Hatred in A Seperate Peace The line between friendship and hatred can sometimes be very unclear. Where exactly does one cross over this line. Could it possibly be when one discovers envy within himself for his friend, or is it when he begins to wish he is somewhere other then where he is. In the novel A Separate Peace by John Knowles, the friendship line between Finny and Gene is extremely unclear. What would cause ones best friend to jounce a tree limb in hopes the other would be harmed....   [tags: Separate Peace Essays]

Free Essays
661 words (1.9 pages)

Friendship in Knowles' A Separate Peace Essay

- A Separate Peace - Friendship   We have all experienced friendship in our lives; some of these bonds were lasting and others were not.  A Separate Peace is a book that deals with the friendship of high school boys. These boys attend an all-boy’s school called Devon School.  It is said that: "Devon is sometimes considered the most beautiful school in New England."  "Devon was both scholarly and very athletic."  Devon is where Gene Forrester, Phineas (Finny) and Elwin (Leper) Lepellier attend school.  Author John Knowles sets the story during World War II.  This time period makes the boys have to think about which branch of the military they want to enlist in....   [tags: A Separate Peace Essays]

Free Essays
1006 words (2.9 pages)

Gaining Insight in A Separate Peace Essay

- Gaining Insight in A Separate Peace A person often gains new insight as a result of a specific incident that he or she experiences. This point is clearly demonstrated in the novel A Separate Peace by John Knowles. Gene learns the profound meaning of friendship when he pushes Phineas out of the tree. When he learns that Phineas has this unconditional love for him, he becomes very guilty for what he has done....   [tags: Separate Peace Essays]

Free Essays
416 words (1.2 pages)

A Separate Peace by John Knowles Essay

- 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....   [tags: Knowles Separate Peace]

Free Essays
788 words (2.3 pages)

Identity Crises in A Separate Peace Essay

- World War II, the major historical event during the life of John Knowles, the author of A Separate Peace, started in 1939. Germany instigated the war, and shortly afterward was joined by Japan and Italy. America, however, fought on the side of The Allies, England and France. Although the United States was still recovering from the Great Depression, it entered the war after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The military drafted men into the war, and women took their places in the work force, people abandoned the old way of life and looked forward to a new one....   [tags: A Separate Peace Essays]

Free Essays
2067 words (5.9 pages)

Free Essays - A Separate Peace

- In Knowles’ novel, A Separate Peace, Gene is portrayed as an intelligent student who is motivated by academics. He is also a thinker that considers a situation from all sides before making a decision. Gene is also a person who follows all the rules and regulations. He always obeys his teachers, studies hard, never misses a class, and makes excellent grades. He does not really enjoy sports, for he is not a good athlete. While in school he lets many distractions such as his friend Finny take part in his life....   [tags: Separate Peace Essays]

Free Essays
1310 words (3.7 pages)