A Separate Peace Themes

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John Knowles wrote a compelling novel A Separate Peace which portrays the lives of young men living in the time of World War II. At an all boys school in New England, Finny and Gene are growing up surrounded by war. At the age of 17, these young men have their whole lives ahead of them; however, for these boys, they could be nearing the end. The themes of innocence, fear, and war are hanging over these boys throughout the novel like a dark, ominous cloud. Finny and Gene are just boys forced to grow up due to a war that had already taken thousands of lives. For some of these young men, their lives will be taken from them before the war even gets its chance. "Preserved along with it, like stale air in an unopened room, was the well known fear…show more content…
Ill-prepared for a war that didn't care for age or time. Little knowledge of what was in store for them. Until well after his accident, Finny was in complete denial of the war. He refused to accept the fact that world wasn't some happy utopia. He wouldn't realize that out there in the real world, the world that was hidden and sheltered from him, there was hatred, violence, and jealousy. Finny was a spirited, unique individual that lived by his own rules and his own little world, unaware of the almost certain fate that each of these young men faced. Even though all of them would end up going off to war at some point, Leper was the first of the class to enlist voluntarily. Inside Leper's heart was pure excitement. He wanted to be a part of something. He wanted to ski with the other troops. Little did he know that what he was shown on T.V was far from the truth. Leper went off to war and was never the same again. "That was when things began to change. One day I couldn't make out what was happening to the corporal's face. It kept changing into faces I knew from somewhere else, and then I began to think he looked like me." (Knowles 150) Leper was forever changed. The one boy who wandered off into the woods searching for beaver dams was gone and was never returning. That boy was stripped of a future, stripped of what could have and should have been some of the best years of his
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