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Fear In A Separate Peace

Powerful Essays
Elizabeth Ross, a Swiss-American author wrote, “The most beautiful we've known are those who have known defeat, struggles, loss, and have found their way out of the depths.” In order to survive in the world we must realize that growing up comes with having to face your fears. The protagonists in John Knowles, Elie Wiesel, and J.D. Salinger books either fear losing their identity to cruelty, change, or their best friend. These fears tend to be the evil that the characters live with and shape their lives. What they do not get is that every adolescent endures evil; how they handle this will cause them to mature. Why would they want to face evil? The characters in these books isolate themselves from the reality of their fears. When they should…show more content…
However the protagonists Gene and Finny soon learn they not only need evil to change, but to mature into adults. At their school, Devon they were too young to graduate into soldiers. The class above them, “rushed toward the war(Knowles 15).” In one of the classes to become a soldier, they had to jump from a tree. The tree is entrance to change and moving on. Instead of allowing Gene to fall into this world Finny saves him. At Devon Finny has everyone follow him and play childish games to keep them young and pure. Unfamiliar with what exactly he fears Gene goes along with it. Gene wants to continue on his path but knows change will occur. He knows aging will come, has experience, and knowledge. That is why when the boys break the rules to go to the beach Gene wakes up before Finny and sees that,“Dawn was a strange gray...the ocean looked dead [with] dead gray waves hissing along(49).” While Knowles implies that Finny only sees light because he is peace in Gene’s world. Gene sees the war moving to Devon and realizes it is avoidable. He realizes that his fear is his best friend. While Gene may resent the fact that Finny is superior to him he never tried to end his fear. After Genes fighting is done he says, “my war ended before I ever put on a uniform (204).” Gene did not kill any enemy in the real fighting. Instead through Gene entering the war, knowles suggests that Gene’s enemy died at Devon along with his fear.…show more content…
He wants something deeper than societal norms like appearance. So Holden isolates himself in order to preserve his innocence. To him children bring the good to the world while adult bring evil. The prep school he went to was his protection from the outside world. But his first scene of the school is of a big football game where the whole school was watching. He says, “I was standing way the hell up on top of Thomsen hill(2).” His eight year sister, Phoebe knew that he got kicked out. Holden did that because he is so detached from everyone; he’s just looking down at what is to come. Through this transition to his lonely journey in New York, Salinger suggests that Holden is searching for himself. His sister questions his actions and tries to find out what he actually cares about in life. When she asks what he wants to do with his life. Holden answers, “I’d just be the catcher on the rye and all (173).” He so badly wants to save kids from plunging into the adult world. All adolescents mature, no matter how aware, and they must encounter evil. Holden realizes this as the good he strives to preserve is threatened. As he hangs out with his sister she wants to ride on the carousel in Central Park. As Phoebe rides the carousel she grabs for a golden ring on one of the animals. Holden realizes that there are times when kids want to try to grab the gold ring, symbolically
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