Analysis Of A Separate Peace By John Knowles

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A Separate Peace is a coming of age novel written by John Knowles. Throughout the novel the Apollonian and Dionysian sides of man are constantly at battle. The Apollonian side is based on reason, logic and order whereas the Dionysian side is based on nature and chaos and appeals to the emotions and instincts. In Chapter 11 the Dionysian and Apollonian sides of man are illustrated through an interaction between Finny, Gene, and Brinker: Brinker and three cohorts came with much commotion into Finny and Gene’s room at 10:05 p.m. that night: “We’re taking you out,” Brinker said flatly. “It’s after hours,” Gene said; “Where?” said Finny with interest at the same time. In this interaction Gene is representing the Apollonian side of man and Finny is representing the Dionysian. Gene is concerned about the rules; he doesn’t want to get in trouble for being out past the curfew. He is comforted by order and schedule just as the Apollonian side of man is. On the …show more content…

At The Devon Winter Carnival the hard cider is the most “cautiously guarded treasure.” Brinker forces a classmate to guard the cider with his life. The cider is so valuable because it’s alcoholic and the boys find it fun to be intoxicated. The belief that alcohol leads to excitement represents the Dionysian side of man because Dionysius is the god of wine. Later on in the afternoon, Chet Douglas plays the trumpet, serenading the crowd with beautiful music, relating to the Dionysian side of man because the god Dionysius greatly values music. In comparison to the carnival, the Olympics is the complete opposite, representing the Apollonian qualities of man. The Olympics flourish on order, schedule, and timeliness. There is a set time for each event; nothing comes down to last-minute decisions. In contrast to the carnival, held in nature, many Olympic events are held inside, in an inclosed

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