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John Knowles '' A Special School'

Powerful Essays
“Everyone has a moment in history which belongs particularly to him. It is the moment when his emotions achieve their most powerful sway over him, and afterward when you say to this person "the world today" or "life" or "reality" he will assume that you mean this moment, even if it is fifty years past. The world, through his unleashed emotions, imprinted itself upon him, and he carries the stamp of that passing moment forever.” Though some disagree, a person 's’ past affects their future no matter how much they attempt to erase it. Generations of people live in time periods that have events that set them apart from other generations. There was the generation that began the Industrial Revolution and the generation who grew up during the Cold…show more content…
At 16, Knowles enrolled in Phillips Exeter Academy, a New Hampshire boarding school (“Guide to Resources”). After a rocky start, Knowles fell in love with Exeter. The school brought out his adeptness at and interest in writing. “In the essay “A Special Time, A Special School,” Knowles acknowledges the formative role his time at Exeter played in his life, writing, “Exeter was, I suspect, more crucial in my life than in the lives of most members of my class, and conceivably, than in the lives of almost anyone else who ever attended the school” (Wood). Knowles’s time at Exeter made him realize his passion for writing. It also gave him lasting memories and ideas for stories later in his life. Exeter became an important influence in Knowles’s life and the school is also shown in his…show more content…
This plays a large part in the novel. When a newly created stain glass window is shattered, the boys point fingers at each other which ends with one boy dead. Americans during this time were afraid of communists and careful not to repeat history with the creation of more “monsters”. Pete expresses this fear while watching how one of his students, NAME, manipulates the staff and his peers. "He 's an incipient monster, thought Pete, and. . . we 've seen in the world how monsters can come to the top and just what horrors they can achieve” (Knowles PAGE). Pete was afraid that NAME would grow up to become a powerful manipulator but admitted that it would be nearly impossible to prevent it from happening so he calmly did not reveal NAME’s true intentions. The fears of this era are shown throughout Knowles’s Peace Breaks
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