A Seperate Peace

Essay by mjm777A, May 2005

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A Separate Peace

Themes in a novel are the main points that an author is trying to grab, to have the reader make their own assumptions up about the characters. Many themes in the novel A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, are obvious; the characters will usually express these through their actions. On the other hand other themes will be very faint; usually the reader does not catch these, but will make a theory on what the theme could be. Though the author may make themes easy to figure out, so the reader can't miss them, they also make them so you can make themes up for yourself, without the author telling you straight out in the open. By the author making the reader think for themselves it makes the novel more interesting to read, and to figure out. Themes are what make an excellent novel more interesting to read.

Although there are many themes in this novel A Separate Peace, only a select few were of the most significant themes Knowles used to connect them with the events and characters within the microcosm of Devon.

Friendship, is one of the most significant and obvious themes in this novel. Knowles has the reader explore the good and bad times of the friendship between, the envious and studious Gene, and the fun-loving; athletic Pheaneas. They both fell to be put in very hard positions, which made their friendship even more heartbreaking. Many of the situations they both became victims of, were situations they did not even know they would be in. They didn't know why things were happening the way they were. For example Gene didn't know why he jounced the limb to make Finny fall. Was it out of envy, was it because he wanted Finny's life? Nobody...

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