A Separate Peace By John Knowles Essay

Good Essays
In A Separate Peace, a realistic fictional novel by John Knowles, World War 2 gradually encroaches upon and finally dominates life at Devon. The War is an ever present focus, if not focus then presence, that fell upon the students of Devon. That was the whole point wasn’t it? Train hard in a boarding school to prepare for war. The war impinged itself upon the school through the boys’ views, jargon, and also was brought to the school. World War II infringed Devon through the boys’ views. This can be found throughout the book, A Separate Peace. However, it can be expressed best by a quote found on page 15. It states, “We were not even Upper Middler exactly. For this was the Summer Session, just established to keep up with the pace of the war. We were in shaky transit that summer from the groveling status of Lower Middlers to the near respectability of Upper Middlers. The class above, seniors, draft bait, practically soldiers, rushed ahead of us toward the war. They were caught up in accelerated courses and first aid programs and a physical hardening regimen, which included jumping from this tree. We were still calmly, numbly reading Virgil and playing tag in the river farther downstream. Until Finny thought of the tree.” (Knowls) The representative quote above signifies how the war has invaded the boys’ views in multiple ways. It shows this through the tree, instead of seeing it as simply what it is, it was viewed as a training device. Additionally, being “draft bait” is
Get Access