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Below are links to sites that will help you understand and think about A Separate Peace. They are not meant to be used as substitutes for the novel. They only help when used along with the novel. Pay attention to the analyses on these pages. They are a quick way to see different ways some people have read the book. They should help you to start getting ideas about the book. Ignore all advertisements on the following sites.






Analytical Notes Top

Farewell to Arms | Bible

The title of this book comes from Hemingway's novel. Think about about A Separate Peace fits into the conversation that is started by Hemingway's book.

At the end of book 3, the protagonist Henry escapes his possible death by jumping into a river and swimming away. After this baptismal scene, which is similar to the river scenes in A Separate Peace, Henry says, "Anger was washed away in the river along with any obligations [to the war . . . ]. I would like to have had the [military] uniform off although I did not care much about the outward forms. I had taken off the stars, but that was for convenience. It was no point of honor. I was not against them. I was through. I wished them all the luck. There were the good ones, and the brave ones, and the calm ones and the sensible ones, and they desreved it. But it was not my show any more" (232).

One can imagine Gene saying these words in A Separate Peace. The next passage displays from where the title of A Separate Peace comes.

Henry then abandons his position as ambulence driver for the Italian army and takes a train to see his lover Catherine. On the train he says:

Besides merely giving us the words of the title, this passage gives us a feeling and mood that John Knowles is trying to recreate. Gene feels the same way as Henry from A Farewell to Arms. There is the motif of clothing, and especially the use of someone else's clothing. Henry used to be the kind of guy who could easily be insulted and strike back, but now he has created a separate peace.





Literature is merely one piece of humanities. The nice thing about literature is that it deals with themes that are dealt with in other novels, songs, paintings, movies, and other artistic areas.




September 11, 2010

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