Knowles' Separate Peace Essays: Maturity in A Separate Peace

Knowles' Separate Peace Essays: Maturity in A Separate Peace

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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. In this establishment of the main character, Gene sets
his place as a grown up and fully matured man, looking back on an incident
when he was only sixteen years old. He vividly describes Devon High School as
he currently saw, and as he remembered from the days of his past. The
description provided in this chapter proves to the reader that in the events
following this soliloquy, a young character will emerge, and will grow into
the man they just read about.
    In Chapter Two and Three, Gene develops a close bond with his roommate
Finny. However, Gene, develops a sheer envy for Finny, and acknowledges it as
the truth. He is extremely envious of the methods in which Finny uses to
escape his unconventional actions and his popularity. He doctors himself in
self-assurance, by repeatedly telling himself over and over again that having
a best friend like Finny is a compliment and should be looked at as an
achievement. However, this excuse is transparent of Gene's maturity at this
point, portraying a very young, foolish, and selfish young man. It later
leads to inner conflict within Gene. During this chapter, Finny and Gene
brainstorm and create the Super Suicide Society of the Summer Se...

... middle of paper ...

...orced him to grow
up; it has forced him to realize his boyish selfishness and stupidity behind
some of his actions. In the last two chapters, Gene depicts to the reader the
thought process in which his mind goes through. Especially in Chapter Twelve,
where the book draws to the climax of Gene finding meaning to the environment
surrounding him.
    A great deal of growing and heartfelt thoughts was brought forth by
having Gene as the narrator. The reader was allowed to see inside the mind of
another human, and see the thought process that went through the young man's
head. The realization that the mind controls the mental growth is very strong
throughout the whole book, considering the very immature outlook Gene took
upon Finny and the events involving Finny, which evolve into carefully
thought out remorse that grows into much needed maturity.

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