Comparison of "A Separate Peace" to War. Book by John Knowles

Essay by SNOldak924Junior High, 8th grade May 2004

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George Herbert once said "When war begins, then hell openth." In 1944, a great war was happening overseas, and in A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, there is another war raging. At the Devon school, during World War II, Gene Forrester experiences his own war, which is sparked in the beginning, causes him to lose friends, and ends suddenly.

Gene's war, like World War II, was sparked by a sudden event that followed a period of increasing tension and uneasiness. In A Separate Peace, the war at Devon is sparked by a single event, but there were many other things leading up to that event. When Gene shakes the limb (52), he is subconsciously sparking what had been building for a long time. World War II is started in 1939 by Germany's invasion of Poland, but this one event is not responsible for the entire war.

Hitler's aggression and the passivity of democratic nations in the years before the war also only needed a spark.

During his stay at Devon, Gene loses two friends, emotionally and physically, which Gene's friend Phineas is lost due to their battle for supremacy, which ends in his death. After the trial, Phineas sees how Gene actually caused his fall, and for a period of time is angry at him. "You want to break something else in me! Is that why you're here!"(176) Phineas later forgives Gene, but it is too late, and Gene loses Finny forever. Leper Lepellier is another example of how Gene lost friends during his war. Leper was the first to enlist, but soon goes crazy from the war, and calls Gene up to visit him. Leper accuses Gene of causing Finny's fall, "You always were a savage underneath."(137) During World War II, many people lost...