Summary Of The Novel 'A Separate Peace' By John Knowles

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The novel, “A Separate Peace” written by John Knowles takes place in a boarding school (“Devon”) in New Hampshire during 1942. The same time as World War II. Brinker Hadley and Gene Forrester are faced with the decision of waiting to be drafted to the war, or enlisting. The benefit of enlisting is being able to choose which branch of the war to participate in. Being drafted almost guarantees a spot in the infantry, the most deadly branch of war but may gain honor for the boys back at home if they survive. When Brinker’s father, Mr. Hadley, comes to visit, all three of them discuss (perhaps even argue) about which branch of war the boys should enlist in. Brinker and Gene agree to enlist in branches that secure their safety and lives while Mr. Hadley believes they should enlist in a…show more content…
Hadley believes that the boys should enlist in the infantry because he feels that it is more honorable. The tone of Mr. Hadley’s emotions is shown through how his “scowl deepened” when the boys describe their safe choices. All Mr. Hadley focuses on is the fame and the glory. Mr. Hadley’s oblivion to the boys’ safety can be alarming and irritating to the reader. Mr. Hadley describes how he wants them to “make the right choice for the long run” (implying how much more honorable the infantry would be). The irony in that is shown by the way they do actually have the “long run” in mind while making their decisions by picking a branch that will ensure their lives. In John Knowles’ novel, “A Separate Peace” the author uses rhetorical devices to describe how Brinker, Gene, and Mr. Hadley view which branch of the military the boys should enlist in. It is obvious that the author supports Mr. Hadley’s view of picking the more honorable route that ensures fame and glory in the end instead of their lives. An argument between the boys and Mr. Hadley breaks out as Brinker and Gene attempt to defend themselves. The argument dissolves without a real winner and the reader is left to pick a
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