War In John Knowles A Separate Peace

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War and Peace In John Knowles’ classic coming of age novel A Separate Peace, the author explores the nature of war as it pertains to the narrator, Gene Forrester, on three levels: one, on an international level; two, on an interpersonal level; and three, on an internal level. On an international level, in Chapter 10, Gene’s friend Leper Lepellier enlists in World War Two in the Army Ski Troops. Weeks following, while at the Winter Carnival, Gene is given a telegram from him, stating that he has escaped from the army, and insisting that Gene must secretly meet Leper at Christmas location, the Lepellier household. Gene discovers Leper at Christmas location mentally unstable. Leper blames this on the army stating that, “‘ They turned everything inside out… I couldn’t sleep in bed, I had to…show more content…
Subsequently, Gene attacks Quackenbush, “I hit him hard across the face… grasped the side of his sweatshirt, wretched, and it came away in my hand” (Knowles 79) . This shows Gene’s aggression and interpersonal conflict between himself and Quackenbush. His rage is all of his guilt built up from his shame of maiming Finny. On an internal level, at the end of Chapter 5, Gene is visiting Finny in the infirmary. Finny is in the infirmary because Gene jounced the limb on a tree which caused him to lose his balance, plummet into the river bank, and shatter his leg. Finny does not remember Gene’s rampacious action, which caused the accident. Prior to the fall, Gene thought Finny was his enemy, and that Finny was trying to sabotage his academics. Gene realizes he was being paranoid about him, so he regretfully thinks, “‘I thought we were competitors! It was so ludicrous I wanted to cry’” (Knowles 66). The whole time, Gene thought he had a conflict with Finny, but it was fictitious. In reality, Finny never wanted any quarrel with Gene, and Gene’s true conflict was in fact with himself. Now, Gene has to live with the internal conflict of guilt for hurting his innocent, best
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