"A Seperate Peace" by John Knowles

Essay by Todd CoughlinCollege, UndergraduateA+, December 1996

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Very Good Essay reveiwing John Knowles "A seperate peace" Good Job!

A Separate Peace was essentially a book about a young man growing up in a secluded reality. When the book opens we enter upon three characters just ending their sophomore year in high school. As these three characters develop over the next two years we experience their lives through the eyes of Gene.

Gene himself isn't the most stable person but he is our guide through the story. We first meet Gene when the story opens. He is older and telling the story in the past. Throughout the book he reflects on the year of his experience at Devon. The reader begins to see Gene as a typical well mannered prep-school boy. As always boys are sometimes jealous of one another. We see this in Gene and Finny's relationship. This jealousy starts out as a normal occurrence but soon turns into a situation where Gene's jealousy becomes so overwhelming that he pushes Finny out of a tree.

"Finny, his balance gone, swung his head around to look at me for an instant with extreme interest, and then he tumbled sideways, broke through the little branches below and hit the bank with a sickening unnatural thud."(52)

Before the incident at the tree Gene talks of Finny with praise. Just before the incident Gene begins to act paranoid toward Finny. "`I'd Kill him out of jealous envy.'"(44) Gene said this because of the belief that Finny was trying to destroy his academic goals, that Finny wanted to take Gene on many excursions to deter his studies. All this controversy and hate toward Finny just before he fell out of the tree makes us wonder if Gene really meant to push him out of the tree? "`I didn't know you needed to...