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Character Development And Setting In John Knowles A Separate Peace

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John Knowles, author of A Separate Peace, uses both character development and setting to support his decision in selecting the title. He uses the main characters of Gene and Phineas (Finny) and their troubled yet deeply bonded friendship as a way to illustrate the separate peace that takes place both within the boys themselves and in the friendship that is built between the two. Knowles also uses the setting of the novel to demonstrate the vast difference between the peaceful Devon School grounds and the war raging outside of the school’s walls. The title, A Separate Peace, as chosen by the author is symbolic of the main characters, Finny and Gene’s, struggle to find peace within themselves and with each other while set in a place that significantly contrasts the events of the real world. Gene considers Finny to be his best friend. In this type of friendship there is an implied vow of trust, loyalty and sense of forever friendship "Finny could shine with everyone, he attracted everyone he met. I was glad of that too. Naturally. He was my roommate and my best friend" (Knowles 40). Gene breaks that vow when he causes Finny's fall that results in life altering injuries “Holding firmly to the trunk, I took a step toward him, and then my knees bent and I jounced the…show more content…
Both of the main characters have inner battles they struggle to make peace with throughout the novel. The boys also must come to terms with how these battles impact their friendship. One boy lets jealousy and resentment guide his decisions and the other is in denial of the reality of the friendship as well as the world around him. Once the walls of the Devon School stop protecting the boys from their personal battles each boy is able to attain some type of peace with whom they have become and the path they chose to reach this
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