A Separate Peace -Literary Insight Essay

Essay by woofcatA, November 2004

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The novel "A Separate Peace" by John Knowles is a book which very thoroughly illustrates the relationship between ones view of ones self, and their mature ness and ability to perceive the world and themselves as well. Strictly speaking, before one can truly consider themselves grown up, and break the bounds set by their minds from earlier years, one must come to terms with their own flaws and shortcomings. In the novel "A Separate Peace", three characters are illustrated in detail of their growth into a young adult. Through a series of events, Gene and Finny grow in their life into the men they will be. Although said situations sound nice, the end result is not quite as picture perfect. Gene realizes how he is really quite a jealous and petty person, while Finny takes the brunt of the effect and is pushed out of a tree by his friend Gene.

At the end of the novel, Finny grows when he realizes that his philosophy upon which he has thus far based his life around is not something he can live on for the rest of his life. People are not all nice, and not only nice things happen. When he truly accepts that his best friend, whom he thinks of as an extension of himself, pushed him off the tree, he grows up and realizes that life is not a perfect picture. Bad things happen, and must be dealt with as they come. He then dies the next day in a freak medical accident. Another character, "Leper" Lepellier, as they call him, grows when he sheds his shell and joins the ski troop military division. He comes out of the army on a discharge for being deemed insane, and he is thoroughly insane. Still, he has not...