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The Theme Of Identity In John Knowles A Separate Peace

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John Knowles wrote A Separate Peace in 1959, introducing readers to a new perspective to World War II in a harrowing and luminous way. He places the two main characters, Gene Forrester, and his friend, Phineas at an all-boys academy called Devon at the time of World War II, introducing themes of identity, warfare, and friendship. Knowles sets the theme of identity before Gene pushes Phineas off the tree by introducing the personalities of both Gene and Phineas. Phineas is, “the best athlete in school”(John Knowles 20) with an average build and height of 5’81/2, good looking, charismatic, and “perfect in almost any way”(Knowles 21) while Gene is,“thoughtful and intelligent”(Knowles 32). Nevertheless, he is envious and competitive of Phineas.
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