Knowles' Separate Peace Essays: Loss Of Innocence

790 words - 3 pages

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 role in their future and enlist or passively let the draft come to them.  Thus, the war dramatically forces young men to grow up.  Setting certainly develops the theme of loss of innocence, but other elements contribute also.

 

    Character portrays the theme of loss of innocence.  For example, sixteen-year-old Gene Forrester, the main character, is truly a child at the beginning of the novel.  However, gradually he outgrows his childish jealously of his best friend Finny, who is very athletic and confident and to Gene seems unbearably perfect, doing flawlessly and getting away with absolutely everything.  Gene also transforms his beliefs from the unconscious one that the world is created anew each morning to the realization that in actuality the morning actually changes nothing but the time of day, and no problem which exists by the light of the setting sun will have vanished in the sunrise.  Furthermore, Gene gains enough confidence in himself that he no longer feels the need to present an illusion of a rich heritage; this transition shows his immense emotional growth from an immature child to a confident...

Find Another Essay On Knowles' Separate Peace Essays: Loss of Innocence

Free College Essays - Devon as a Microcosm in Knowles' A Separate Peace

508 words - 2 pages  Devon as a Microcosm to the Outside World in A Separate Peace        Welcome to a small school called Devon during the summer of 1942.  At the beginning of the second World War, Devon is a quiet place with close friends and great memories, until one event brings the entire school into itÕs own war.  With the star athlete having his leg ÒaccidentallyÓ broken by his best friend, Devon

Denial of Truth in John Knowles' A Separate Peace

2060 words - 8 pages Denial of Truth in John Knowles' "A Separate Peace" The novel A Separate Peace focuses mainly around a 17 year old named Gene Forrester and his psychological development. The story is set in a boys boarding school in USA during World War II. There are four main boys in the novel and they all undergo major character changes through the story. One of them goes crazy, and the others experience severe attitude changes. Gene is caught right in

Essay is about A Separate Peace (John Knowles) compared to Summer of My German Soldier (Bette Greene) On innocence of the characters

1314 words - 5 pages Throughout A Separate Peace and Summer Of My German Soldier we see how there is evil in everyone except Finny and Patty. The innocence in Patty and Finny is shown first of all, when they don't care about their appearance. They both speak their minds and are sheltered from the real world. Also, they do not know anything about the real world and the War going on. The evil in people is shown in Gene and Patty's father with their internal

A Separate Peace by Dan Knowles

603 words - 2 pages A SEPARATE PEACEThe 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

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

710 words - 3 pages The three dichotomous symbols in A Separate Peace by John Knowles reinforce the innocence and evil of the main characters, Finny and Gene. Beside the Devon School flow two rivers on opposite sides of the school, the Naguamsett and the Devon. The Devon provides entertainment and happiness for Gene and Finny as they jump from the tree into the river and hold initiations into the Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session. Finny, Gene, and their

A Separate Peace, by John Knowles

1193 words - 5 pages Perhaps the most interesting front in any war or any battle is the home front.A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, explores how a war affects life at home, and how war affects the teenagers who are preparing to enter it. Set over the course of a year at Devon School-- a New England preparatory academy high in prestige-- the book seeks to show that the lives most affected by a war may not be the soldiers, but the citizens of a country who might

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

1547 words - 6 pages true. The Olympics would continue on its steady four-year pattern unhindered by this fake war and Gene would compete in them. These sarcastic illusions allow the pair to temporarily live in a peaceful dream world amid war and the sinfulness of the truth-achieving a separate peace- but in their efforts their maturity and development of their own identities are affected. In A Separate Peace, John Knowles creates the

"A Separate Peace" by John Knowles

1120 words - 4 pages A Separate Peace(Compare and Contrast Finny and Gene)Have you ever had a best friend who was the complete the opposite of you? The novel, A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, tells of a pair of best friends who vary quite a bit from one another. Gene's best friend, Finny, is an athletic individual who loves to break the rules while he himself is a law abiding studious person. The two main characters in this novel are similar to and different from

Finding Peace in A Separate Peace by John Knowles

754 words - 3 pages Finding Peace Peace only comes at the price of great struggle and sacrifice for most people. In essence, it only comes when you have defeated the enemy, or the enemy has defeated you. John Knowles was able to capture the subtle goal and essence of his novel by titling it A Separate Peace. A Separate Peace is a story about Gene Forrester, the protagonist of the story, and his constant struggle with the underlying emotional conflicts presented

A Separate Peace: The Nature of Hatred and Peace This essay discribes the fatal extremes of hate and peace, as seen in John Knowles' "Separate Peace"

569 words - 2 pages In A Separate Peace, hatred and peace influenced many characters. The war functions as a source of hatred, while Finny is a source of peace. Gene injured Finny and realizes that he must change from his jealous and selfish behavior; though Finny's help, his peace slowly transformed Gene into something like Finny. When Leper faced the war by enlisting, the hatred and brutality negatively transforms him into a selfish and uncaring lunatic. There

The Unofficial Autobiography: The Relationship of the Life of John Knowles and “A Separate Peace”

1406 words - 6 pages in “The Chronicles of Narnia.” C.S. Lewis was a Christian and Aslan, the main character in the books, was a savior to the world. He modeled Aslan after Jesus Christ. Other famous authors using this technique include J.R.R. Tolkien and John Knowles with his book A Separate Peace. John Knowles was born in Fairmont, West Virginia in 1926. Fairmont was a small mining town where Knowles attended public schools. His father, James M. Knowles, was the

Similar Essays

Gene And Finny's Loss Of Innocence In "A Separate Peace" By John Knowles

1026 words - 4 pages In "A Separate Peace" by John Knowles, it is evident that Finny and Leper undergo the most traumatic experiences from the Class of 1943. Through these experiences, both characters lose much of their innocence and naivety. Finny, upon learning of the existence of the war and Gene's moment of hatred, learns to accept realities and perceive the world as it is, not as the perfect childlike image he wants it to be. However, when Leper enlists in the

Analysis Of Leper In A Separate Peace By John Knowles

990 words - 4 pages "Truth: the most deadly weapon ever discovered by humanity. Capable of destroying entire perceptual sets, cultures, and realities. Outlawed by all governments everywhere. Possession is normally punishable by death." John Gilmore's perception of truth portrays a view extremely relative to the novel, A Separate Peace, by John Knowles. Knowles creates a theme of veracity in animus within the novel and supports it through the unique character

The Reality Of War In John Knowles' A Separate Peace

3297 words - 13 pages Knowles communicates what war really is. He uses complex characters in a very complicated plot in order to convey the harsh, sad, cruel, destructive forces of war. Gene and Finny's relationship that includes the opposition illustrates this fact. Their relationship is used by Knowles to establish the terrible reality of war in all of its essence. Works Cited Ellis, James. "A Separate Peace: The Fall from Innocence." English Journal (NCTE

Coming Of Age In A Separate Peace By John Knowles

963 words - 4 pages A Separate Peace “Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed” -Friedrich Nietzsche. A Separate Peace by John Knowles is a coming of age and tragedy novel. In this book, John Knowles shows us the lives of teenage boys during World War II. They boys may seem alright with their cheerful attitudes, but the raging war is still on their minds. They are wondering what it would be like to become a