Archetypal Critic on John Knowles’ A Separate Peace

1163 WordsFeb 2, 20185 Pages
Carl Jung, the very first pioneer who discovered human collective unconsciousness, including archetypes, once said, “An archetype is something like an old watercourse along which the water of life flowed for a time, digging a deep channel for itself. The longer it flowed the deeper the channel, and the more likely it is that sooner or later the water will return.” An archetype is the universal patterns and behaviors that represent a typical human experience that is passed down from generations to generations, creating its originality. In “A Separate Peace”, John Knowles uses many archetypes to enrich the personality of his characters, especially Gene and Finny based on common human experiences. By embodying the archetypes of the Fall from Innocence, the Unhealable, and the Crossroads in “A Separate Peace,” John Knowles was successful in establishing the theme for the novel which implies that the guilt which is begotten from one’s deceitful actions would remain as an irrecoverable wound overtime. The Fall from Innocence is the loss of one’s innocence, or purity as the result of maturity or newfound knowledge. Mason Cooley, an American aphorist, once said, “Innocence is thought charming because it offers many possibilities for exploitation.” It is very needless to say that innocence is a valuable shield to a person that keeps that person free from sinful acts and evil demeanors. John Knowles exploits the archetype of the Fall from Innocence to show Finny’s reaction

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