A Separate Peace By John Knowles: An Analysis

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Who does not remember their school days? The good times, the bad times and all the memories. John Knowles wrote an inspiring novel that shows all that can happen when life is at its worst. In the book A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Gene grows up and sees how hard life can be. The novel is a bildungsroman because it is a book about a person coming of age or growing up. A Separate Peace is a bildungsroman because when Gene returns to his school as an adult he remembers all the good times he had, the heartbreak he experienced, and he sees the school differently, . Gene remembers all the good times he had at school and with Finny. He remembers all the fun they had together and how Finny would talk his way out of getting in trouble.…show more content…
They were holding a club meeting and they were getting ready to jump out of the tree and Gene says “Holding firmly to the trunk, I took a step toward him, and then my knees bet and I jounced the limb” (Knowles 59 - 60). When Finny had fallen he did not know whether or not if it was jounced or if the limb just moved but he did break his leg when he fell. Gene and Finny were put on trial by their classmates to see what really happened and Gene recalls, “The excellent exterior acoustics recorded his rushing steps and the quick rapping of his cane along the corridor and on the first steps of the marble stairway. Then these separate sounds collided into the general tumult of his body falling clumsily down the white marble stairs” (Knowles 177). This was another moment of heartbreak for Gene because if Gene would not have jounced the limb Finny would have never broken his leg in the first place which would have made the trial go down hill and Finny fall because he did not want to hear what really happened. He does not want to believe it is true. This is a time in Gene’s life that is a stepping stone into adulthood. The loss of his friend felt as if he was losing a part of himself “I did not even cry then or ever about Finny. I did not even cry when we stood watching him being lowered into his family’s strait-laced burial ground outside Boston. I could not escape feeling that this was my own funeral, and you do not cry in that case” (Knowles 5). Even though something may not seem right or not the way you thought it happened, do not let it change the outlook you have on
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