Summary Of A Separate Peace By John Knowles

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The novel, A Separate Peace, is a coming of age historical fiction written by John Knowles. Taking place during World War II, the tragedy is mainly about Gene Forrester’s, the protagonist, nostalgic narration on his experiences at a boarding school named Devon, and his friendships, particularly, that with his closest friend, Finny, that ultimately makes Gene conscious of his own inner problems. Throughout the novel, the author uses the literary element of setting. The setting is the time and place in which the story takes place. The author uses setting to develop the central idea of youth. Examples can be found in the text that clearly shows how the author uses setting to develop the central idea of youth. The first example is when Knowles writes, “This was the way the Masters tended to treat us that summer. They seemed to be modifying their usual attitude of floating, …show more content…

The author uses this statement to point out the contrast between the effects the summer session and Wolrd War II had on the boys. Throughout the novel, the author uses the summer of 1942 as a reference point and symbolism to the boys’ youth. The masters’ leniency permitted events such as the formation of the “Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session”, the night at the beach between Finny and Gene, as well as their constant search for entertainment to occur, temporarily resulting in their preservation of innocence and childhood. Finny’s fall and injury signified the novel’s climax and turning point from childhood to adulthood, shifting the events to a tragedy and thereby in a dark, resentful setting. Knowles writes, “But it had all been caught up, like the first fallen leaves, by a new and energetic wind. The

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