Foreshadowing And Dramatic Irony In John Knowles 'A Separate Peace'

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All authors have an indirectly expressed underlying message or reason for writing. A Separate Peace is a novel about two boys at a boarding school who complement each other through their differences, making them best friends. When one injures the other, they reject the possibility of a rift in their friendship. They begin to lie to each other in order to remain innocent once confronted with the truth, but it has serious consequences. The author expresses the significance of their denial throughout the book with several literary elements. John Knowles’ A Separate Peace creates foreshadowing and dramatic irony in the form of Phineas’ and Gene’s lies to each other and themselves about Gene’s betrayal to explore how denying the truth can destroy…show more content…
Before the ‘courtroom scene’, the other students carry Gene and Finny into the assembly hall in the First Academy Building and Gene sees the inscription “Here Boys Come to Be Made Men” (165) pass above them. Knowles makes it appear as though the entrance to the building is an entrance to the war itself because the students who pass through the school come out as soldiers, which reflects Gene’s internal war as well. Gene feels conflicted about supporting Phineas’ and his own lies because he knows they are not true, but he also uses them as a source of relief from his own guilt. However, when Finny breaks his leg again, Gene’s confrontation of the truth ultimately forces both of their acceptances, and Finny’s carefree personality changes. This shift shows as Brinker confronts them about their participation in the war and he says that Phineas has “already [been] sidelined”, but Gene steps in and encourages the idea “that there’s [nothing] to be out of” (158). He expects that Finny will chime in and “unravel once again” about the “deluded public”, but he only responds with a quiet agreement. Gene recognizes the fact that Phineas has begun to wean from his self-deception and that they would soon have to face irrefutable facts about the war

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