Reflection On A Separate Peace

1176 Words5 Pages
To Be Human: A Separate Peace Reflection Compassion plays a significant role in everyone’s lives: it is what parents teach their children from a young age, it is how human kindness is forwarded, it is how people make friends and fall in love. It is simultaneously what fuels the lives of individuals and what shapes the lives of those around them. In times of war or united struggle, though, compassion becomes harder to come by. John Knowles, author of the historical fiction novel A Separate Peace, demonstrates the toll war takes on one’s soul through it’s main character, Gene Forrester. As World War II continues amidst the events Gene encounters at Devon School, the reader observes Gene’s transformation into an apathetic human being through his distrusting of others, actions towards his peer, Leper, and his response to his best friend’s death. Gene’s descent of character makes Knowles’ personal perspective on war clear as well: it either kills you or kills your mind. Though A Separate Peace follows Gene’s life as a junior at Devon School and not as a soldier on the front-line, much of Gene and his peers’ average school day revolves around the war. Considering such a state of mind, of course Gene’s life parallels the life of a soldier. One of the most striking similarities between Gene’s life and a World War II soldier’s is their loss of compassion amongst tragedy. Like a soldier, Gene entered his ‘battlefield’—Devon School—with his emotions intact and a healthy bulk of
Get Access