Summary Of A Separate Peace By John Knowles

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John Knowles wrote the book A Separate Peace in a fictional account. The book takes place at a preparatory in New Hampshire called Devon, during World War II. Gene tells this story as he is going back to visit the school; specifically a tree and a marble staircase. Gene has a lot of friends at the school, but no are more important than Phineas. Knowles shows the conflict of man vs. society in the book when Phineas goes against the rules, when Brinker holds a trial, and when the army does not accept him.
When Phineas goes against the rules, that shows man vs. society because the school makes the rules. At one point Phineas decides he wants to go to the beach after he beats A. Hopkins Parker's school swimming record. Gene knows it was a bad idea since he has a big test the next day, however he goes anyway. Gene recalls, “The beach was hours away by bicycle, forbidden, completely out of all bounds” (Knowles 27). Gene’s statement shows that going to the beach is totally against school rules. Then, Phineas goes out to eat dinner at the substitute headmaster's house. and he uses the Devon School tie as his belt for the day. Gene says, “This time he wasn’t going to get away with it. I could feel myself coming unexpectedly excited at that” (Knowles 27). This shows that he goes against the rules so much, and gets away with it …show more content…

society because all of his friends are trying to tell him what happened on the tree. As Phineas keeps acting like the war is fake and nothing really matters, Brinker is fed up with it. Brinker decides to hold a trial to confront Phineas and Gene about what had happened on the tree. Phineas says, “‘You get all your facts! You collect every f---ing fact there is in the world!”’ (Knowles 177). Phineas shows that he is fed up with the fact Brinker will not stop hounding him on when Gene pushed him. Not only does the trial show man vs. society, but Phineas not being allowed to fight in the army does as

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