Themes of A Separate Peace.

Essay by AznBabyGirlHigh School, 10th grade November 2003

download word file, 2 pages 4.5

Downloaded 40 times

In the drama A Separate Peace by John Knowles is set in the 1940's during World War II. This story is about two boys finding their way through life. During a person's lifetime from birth to death somewhere in between they learn the most important things are acquired through their "wars". During their "quest" to find their true identity Gene and Finny are both secretly fighting a war against one another. This also leads to the main theme of the story, war. Not all of these "wars" were destroying their friendship some of it was beneficial.

Gene's war with himself was the main cause of all of the other "wars". I believe that it was all about his identity. He just wasn't comfortable with himself at all, he had no self-pride. He felt that his identity was a burden to himself. He wanted to be someone different, a person more like Finny.

For example, after Finny had his accident Gene went to their room and dressed in Finny's clothes and found that he looked exactly like him. Gene's determination to be someone he wasn't changed his nice and understanding character to a hostile "killer". He created his own world where everything is hostile. He convinced himself that everyone in this world is out to get him even his closest friend. From my point of view however, Finny sees it entirely different. Finny always has a positive mind and refuses to believe that anyone is his enemy. In conclusion, both characters create enemies for themselves and go to war against them.

The war that Gene fought with Finny was hidden throughout the story. It was all in Gene's mind. Who would have ever thought that the one person that one calls their best friend turns out to be their worst...