A Separate Peace Essay

864 words - 4 pages

Throughout the novel, A Separate Peace, the author John Knowles conveys many messages of symbolism. The symbolism can be found in an array of ways, ranging from internal war, to the theme of human aggression, and a variety of religious principles. The main characters, Gene and Phineas, and their story could be paralleled to the biblical story of Adam and Eve. The similarities can be seen in the way in which in both of the stories, everyone is living in perfect harmony and peace until something comes along to disrupt it. Also in how the main characters do something out of jealousy, greed, and selfishness; and in addition, how Finny's fall out of a tree relates to the “Fall of Mankind.”
Adam was the first man that God created and was created to be the image of God himself. God planted the beautiful Garden of Eden in which there was no sin and the trees were filled with delicious fruits, everything a person would need to eat. In the middle of the garden was the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” One day, a serpent came into the garden and convinced Eve to eat an apple from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge. The fruit did not make Adam and Eve any better than they already were. Instead, the jealousy, the desire to eat what was forbidden—and then the physical eating of the fruit that was forbidden—allowed sin to enter humanity. God punished Adam and Eve, and all their descendants, by making their lives hard. Likewise, in the novel, peace and innocence left the Devon school and Gene and Finny's friendship, and after the winter session, discipline and hard work began. Eve eating the apple can be paralleled to Gene jostling the limb of the tree while Phineas was standing on the edge of it for in that second, both of their lives changed. Jealousy, greed, and selfishness fueled both Gene and Eve. Eve wanted the knowledge that the serpent spoke of and wanted to be wise and Gene wanted to win the imaginary war against Finny that he had formulated in his head.
The serpent that arose in the garden, in a way, is equivalent to Gene's mind. The snake was jealous that Adam and Eve got to eat any of the food they wanted out of the garden. In spite, it spreads lies to Eve, telling her that God forbids then to eat from the tree because he does not want them to obtain the knowledge that he holds. Eve ate the apple because she wanted all that she...

Find Another Essay On A Separate Peace

Transformation, A Separate Peace Essay

1171 words - 5 pages ''The more things change, the more they remain the same.''(904) There are many themes presented in the book A Separate Peace, But I think the most meaningful and bold theme in the book is the theme of transformation. The most obvious transformations were that of the main characters, Gene and Finny. Some other characters besides Gene and Finny also had transformations. For most people, transformations occur over a matter of years, or even decades

A Separate Peace Essay

586 words - 2 pages In the novel A Separate Peace by John Knowles, there is a contrast of two wars raging on. While World War II tumbled on outside of Devon School, one unfolded within Gene himself. Gene could not tolerate Phineas's ideal character and believed it was a threat he must rid himself of. A series of changes involving acceptances and rejections takes place before Gene realized that his war had only one side from the beginning and Phineas could never be

A Separate Peace

586 words - 2 pages In the novel A Separate Peace by John Knowles, there is a contrast of two wars raging on. While World War II tumbled on outside of Devon School, one unfolded within Gene himself. Gene could not tolerate Phineas's ideal character and believed it was a threat he must rid himself of. A series of changes involving acceptances and rejections takes place before Gene realized that his war had only one side from the beginning and Phineas could never be

A Separate Peace

1151 words - 5 pages A Separate Peace: by John Knowles      During World War II in the struggle for peace among nations comes a smaller, but still significant struggle, in a prep school boy becoming a man and waking up to reality.      In the book A Separate Peace, the author John Knowles, creates the image of two sixteen-year old boys struggling to keep what little sense of peace they know, even though there is

A Separate Peace: Responsibility

938 words - 4 pages A Separate Peace: Responsibility A responsibility is something for which one is held accountable. Often people say that one is responsible for one’s own words and actions; if something happens as a result of something one does one is responsible for it. But is it possible that something could be the result of various actions from different people who are therefore equally responsible, or is there always one person who is most

A Separate Peace

747 words - 3 pages A Separate Peace Dealing with enemies has been a problem since the beginning of time. “I never killed anybody,” Gene had commented later in his life, “And I never developed an intense level of hatred for the enemy. Because my war ended before I ever put on a uniform, I was on active duty all my time at Devon; I killed my enemy there.” In A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, the value of dealing with enemies is shown by Gene, who was dealing

A separate peace 3

754 words - 3 pages A Separate Peace Dealing with enemies has been a problem since the beginning of time. "I never killed anybody," Gene had commented later in his life, "And I never developed an intense level of hatred for the enemy. Because my war ended before I ever put on a uniform, I was on active duty all my time at Devon; I killed my enemy there." In A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, the value of dealing with enemies is shown by Gene, who was dealing with

A Separate Peace

1077 words - 5 pages Gene’s Self-Fabricated Wars and their Basis of Ignorance in A Separate Peace Often, one may sense a conflict that one must fight against an intangible enemy that one feels is there. The temptation of competition, envy, or peer pressure can cause one to change one’s actions and ideals, even when this conflict only prevails in one’s own mind. When the mind generates a war that does not even exist, the premise is most likely an incomprehension of

A Separate Peace - 725 words

725 words - 3 pages A Separate Peace In John Knowles's novel, A Separate Peace, Gene refers to his best friend Finny's voice repeatedly as being "hypnotic." Throughout the book Finny convinces everyone to do what he wants, and this is the reason that Gene refers to his voice like this. On separate occasions it seems that Finny keeps himself from getting punished or he just gets his way. Gene can't help but feel a little jealous of his friend's power over authority

A Separate Peace - 1124 words

1124 words - 4 pages In many works of literature there are often secrets and deceptions involved; either direct lies or unspoken truths. Often these lies and deceptions are meant to hide a crime or violent act. This is the case in John Knowles's A Separate Peace (1960). In contrast, The Importance of Being Earnest (1990), by Oscar Wilde the lies and deceptions are a type of game.In A Separate Peace, Gene was involved in a deception to hide the fact that he pushed

A Separate Peace - 1588 words

1588 words - 7 pages The main character in my book, A Separate Peace, is Gene Forrester. At the beginning of the book, Gene is an innocent boy, going along with everything his roommate, the outgoing and energetic Phineas, says. “What was I doing up here anyway? Why did I let Finny talk me into doing stupid things like this?” (17) During this scene in the book, Gene is questioning his decision to jump out of a very tall tree, which he was convinced to climb by

Similar Essays

A Separate Peace Essay 580 Words

580 words - 3 pages Siva Nuthanapati (5) OrganizationMiss O' Reilly, p. 3 (20) Details/ AnalysisAmerican Literature, Honors (10) Quotes11 September 2014 (5) MechanicsFinding a Separate PeacePeace comes at the price of either a great struggle or sacrifice. In reality peace is attained when one is able to beat the enemy, or if the enemy beats you. In the book, A Separate Peace, written John Knowles, the biggest debate would be whether Gene Forrester succeeds in

A Separate Peace Analysis

517 words - 2 pages Many people wish that there would be nothing to worry about. When problems do arise, these people do not associate themselves with them, but they try to find a separate peace. In the novel of the same title, Gene is one of those people, and he tries to ignore the outside war by finding an inner peace: Phineas. Finny becomes a magical fairy that sprinkles tranquility into Gene’s daily life. Even though Phineas becomes Gene’s separate peace, Finny

A Separate Peace Symbolism Essay

1600 words - 6 pages In John Knowle’s A Separate Peace, symbols are used to develop and advance the themes of the novel. One theme is the lack of an awareness of the real world among the students who attend the Devon Academy. The war is a symbol of the "real world", from which the boys exclude themselves. It is as if the boys are in their own little world or bubble secluded from the outside world and everyone else. Along with their friends, Gene and

A Separate Peace: Comparison Essay

1105 words - 4 pages A Separate Peace is one of John Knowles' most acclaimed works and is based on Knowles' stay at Phillip Exeter Academy in the early-to-mid 1940's. It is set in a New England boarding school for boys known as Devon, and begins in 1958 but quickly flashes back to the years 1942 and 1943. In these years at the peak of World War II we follow through the eyes and mind of first-person narrator and protagonist Gene Forrester, as he copes internally with