Themes In A Separate Peace

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Many young adults try to play pretend to avoid their reality. When school or friendships build up they may become difficult to deal with. In the novel, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, some of the students of the Devon School try to escape their lives to create new ones in their imagination. Gene thinks of excuses and others stop believing in the world that they are living in. The war makes most of the kids create delusions about themselves and the others around them. The theme, one’s internal war is derived from external struggles, is demonstrated when Gene cannot face his delusions about Finny, Leper’s brain pulls tricks on itself, and Finny trying to make himself no longer believe in the war.
Gene believes that everyone is out to get him including his best friend. Gene is one of the top students in his class but by the drop in his grade says otherwise. When Gene starts failing his tests, Finny forces Gene to go to
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Finny has a broken leg after falling off a tree into a lake because Gene jounced the limb. The recovery for Finny’s leg is a long process and the doctor said he will never be able to enlist in the war or even play sports again. Finny’s only dreams are to enlist in the war and go to the Olympics, but that is all stolen from him. Finny tries to hide the truth from himself about the war when he thinks that the politicians have “made it all up” (115). He does not want to think that he will never be able to participate in his dream because of a broken leg. Finny’s theory about the war all being a setup helps him forget that he actually will not be able to compete in the Olympics or fight for his country. His war inside of himself trying to hide his pain in not doing what he loves is all influenced by his physical state and the actions of his best friend. Finny has to deal with his broken leg and his feelings towards not going to fulfill his
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