Denial of Truth in John Knowles' A Separate Peace Essay

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Denial of Truth in John Knowles' "A Separate Peace" The novel A Separate Peace focuses mainly around a 17 year old named Gene Forrester and his psychological development. The story is set in a boys boarding school in USA during World War II. There are four main boys in the novel and they all undergo major character changes through the story. One of them goes crazy, and the others experience severe attitude changes. Gene is caught right in the center of these changes. He is very close with all of the other three boys, and thus all of the changes affect him very much. Due to all the tension occurring in this novel because of the war and events going on at the school, there is a lot of denial of truth happening. Three of the four boys…show more content…
The author writes that Finny “seemed older that morning…he seemed smaller too. Or perhaps it was only that I, inside the same body, had felt myself all at once grown bigger”. It may also be said that on this morning Finny (a model of athleticism) became part of Gene. So, it can be seen that Finny’s denying the reality of the war was truly one of the more important examples of denial of truth in the novel because it resulted in, among other things, a greater bonding between Finny and Gene and shattered the image of Finny being truly composed and serene. Another example of denial of truth would be Leper. Leper, as is obvious throughout the story, continuously denies reality. He is very often be in his own ‘dream world’, and when he isn’t he is shy and hesitant to show his true feelings. This was likely because he was “difficult not to make fun of”. For example, at the beginning of the book, when he claims Gene’s jump was better than Finny’s and is rebutted by Finny, “he didn’t argue or refuse. He didn’t back away. He became inanimate”. There are also many examples of his not being conscious of his surroundings. One of them is when Gene is thinking about him when he sees him on his way to clearing railroads. Gene recalls that while most of the boys are listening to the announcements, Leper “made little sketches of birds and trees in the back of his notebook”. Then, when Gene strolls up to talk to Leper, Leper comments about skiing paths. Someone

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