Biblical Allusion Essay

1788 Words 8 Pages
“All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”(Romans 3:23)

The fall of man- it’s a common topic all throughout the Bible. Many allusions to this familiar Biblical theme are made in the war-time novel, A Separate Peace, by American author John Knowles. In this work, Knowles relates many of his experiences as a teenage boy attending boarding school during World War Two. He uses Biblical allusions to reveal much about human nature.

In Genesis 4:3-5 the Bible says, “In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Able brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with
…show more content…
“Now Cain said to his brother Able, ‘Let’s go out to the field.’ And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Able and killed him (Genesis 4:8)”

These parallel incidents reveal much about human nature. When Gene is faced with the truth that he will never measure up to Phineas, his subconscious takes hold of him and he destroys the better man because he cannot cope with Finny’s unmatchable perfection. This act promulgates the truth concerning man’s will to survive.

The fall of Adam and Eve is also quite concurrent with Gene’s fall in A Separate Peace. In Genesis, the Bible relates the story of Adam and Eve and their life in the garden of Eden. Eden was a beautiful place in which there was no sin or suffering and every need was met. God’s only stipulation was that the pair abstain form eating the fruit of a certain tree. Yet it seems, even this was too much to ask. Genesis 3:6 says: “When the woman saw the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he also ate it.”

Yet, Adam and Eve’s sin was not without consequence. The Bible tells us that, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realized they were naked; So they sewed fig-leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”

Gene’s sin had comparable results. After he shook Finny from the tree, his life changes
Open Document