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A Separate Peace Conflict

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A Separate Peace, written by John Knowles, is a seemingly simple yet heartbreaking story that gives the reader an inside look and analysis of the reality of human nature. Set permanently in the main character Gene’s point of view, the audience is first taken to the present of a reflective and now wise man (Gene) and then plunged into his past back in 1942 to relive the harsh lessons that youth brought him. Along with vivid imagery of tranquil days past, a view into the social construct of a boy’s private school, Devon, and the looming presence of World War 2 on the horizon, there is also a significant power struggle that the reader can observe almost instantly. Conquering the need to be supreme in the situations of the war, high school, social interactions, and even simple moments that…show more content…
With each scenario, it is shown that most of the time Gene’s enemies are only in his head- not many are in a battle to reign supreme as he is. The war put together with these power struggles allows for such a well done piece, for the reader learns that even in times where others are in battle one does not have to be anchored against someone. Phineas and Gene’s relationship is also instrumental in delivering this message because the reader can witness Phineas, with his free and peaceful ways and realize that Gene does not have to be on the defense and seek power all of the time. Phineas is a unique contrast to Gene that helps Knowles prove his point. Just as in the book, life shows us that this urge to beat an “enemy” is unnecessary and can often have consequences like the ones Gene experienced. It is crucial to recognize the reigning powers in life and not let them take over and cause one to find evil in everyone- Knowles displays this perfectly with Gene and his
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