One of the major essentials in a work of fiction is its theme. The themes of a novel are the key beliefs and thoughts discussed by the author throughout the work of fiction. Novels can either encompass several or just one theme that occurs throughout the work. A Separate Peace, written by John Knowles contains numerous themes that are suggested and traced throughout the narrative. In this novel, many ideas are combined to create the immense theme of war.
Many examples of war are exposed throughout A Separate Peace. Not only is there a literal war, World War II, but also there is an emotional war between the main character, Gene Forrester, and his roommate Finny. Throughout the novel, Gene feels that there is a war between Finny and himself, but Finny does not feel the same way. Gene and Finny's companionship is based on a reciprocal need.
Finny needs Gene to aid him when he breaks his leg because he does not want anyone to help besides Gene. The only reason he allows Gene to help him is because he sees Gene as an extension of himself. Gene needs Finny because it is necessary to have someone to compete against and someone to drive to improve. Finny and Gene are both a part of each other and there is a balance between them.
Since there is a feeling of war between the boys, Gene treats Finny unfairly. Gene first begins to feel his envy toward Finny when he realizes Finny's excellence in sports and his ability to get away with anything. Gene strongly believes that Finny is trying to ruin his studies so he can be better than Gene. The thought that Finny could be sabotaging his studies infuriates Gene so he tries to part with...