Quizzes | Reading
Guides | Novel Guides | Papers
| Resources |Analytical Notes
| Intertextuality | Humanities
Other Quizzes: Below are links to quizzes on the Internet.
& Reading Guides:
Below are links to sites that will help you understand and think about A
. 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.
- Quest Motif --
Theme Analysis Paper
- Read "Every Trip is a Quest" from How to Read Literature
like a Professor (Handout in class)
- War Motif --
Theme Analysis Paper
- Biblical Allusion
Exeter: Tribute to A Separate Peace-- John Knowle's school
that he based Devon on provides information and photos to help understand
Essay -- Flip through this photo essay to get a mental image
of what the school looked like
Study Guide -- Look at this to get some more information about the
novel. There is a biography of Knowles also.
to Read a Separate Peace -- A Powerpoint that talks about A Separate
Peace and literary devices. It gives page numbers for some devices.
- Culture of 1942
- Gene is short for Eugene, which means "well born."
Farewell to Arms | Bible
- Ernest Hemingway's
A Farewell to Arms
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
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
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:
- "In civilian
clothes I felt a masquerader, I had been in uniform a long time and I missed
the feeling of being held by your clothes. [. . .] I had also bought a new
hat. I could not wear Sim's hat but his clothes were fine. They smelled
of tobacco and as I sat in the compartment and looked out the window the
new hat felt very new and the clothes very old. I myself felt as sad as
the wet Lombard country that was outside through the window. There were
some aviators in the compartment who did not think much of me. They avoided
looking at me and were very scornful of a civilian my age. I did not feel
insulted. In the old days I would have insulted them and picked a fight.
They got off at Gallarate and I was glad to be alone. I had the paper but
I did not read it because I did not want to read about the war. I was going
to forget the war. I had made a separate peace."
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.
- Gunter Grass's Cat and Mouse
- Graham Greene's Brighton Rock
- Graham Greene's "Destructors" -- short story
is about a group of boys who destroy a house. It is another exploration
into the darkness that lies within us.
- Edgar Allan Poe's "Imp
of the Perverse"
- J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye -- This has
many ties to A Separate Peace. First, it is a prep school novel. Second,
like Holden, Phineas, and by extension Gene, hold contempt for older people.
Third, A Separate Peace gets its name from A Farewell to Arms.
Holden reads a copy of A Farewell to Arms. And in both books Thomas
Hardy is alluded to.
- John Green's Looking
for Alaska -- Recent novel dealing with prep
school. The Phineas character is a girl named Alaska.
- Erest Hemingway's Farewell to Arms
- Sophocles's Philoctetes
- John Milton's Paradise Lost
- William Golding's Lord of the Flies
- F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise
- Boarding Schools in film (The Following movies have Boarding
Schools and its culture as a focus)
- Dead Poet Society
- Emperor's Club
- School Ties
- Harry Potter Series