A separate peace final essay

Friendship must be based on common ground between two or more beings that care for one another. In the article titled The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy , Bennett Helm states that there must be "concern on the part of each friend for the welfare of the other, for the other's sake, and that involves some degree of intimacy.

It also notes that a friendship must have some amount of intimacy within the relationship. Intimacy, however, does not necessarily relate to any kind of sexual activity. One such battle is that in which Gene deals with throughout the book, the battles with Finny. We learn as the story begins that Gene and Finny are best friends. They go almost everywhere together and they even share a room at their school. I could feel myself becoming unexpectedly excited at that.

I felt a sudden stab of disappointment. Finny, his balance gone, swung his head around to look at me for and instant with extreme interest, and then he tumbled sideways, broke through the little branches below and hit the bank with a sickening, unnatural thud. It was the first clumsy physical action I had ever seen him make. With unthinking sureness I moved out on the limb and jumped into the river, every trace of my fear gone. The pressure of knowing he did something so terribly wrong was beyond his control as a young man. They would make him an outcast. Not only did he do this horrendous thing on purpose, but he also would have waited to tell them long after the point it was decided that Finny had just had an accident.

When Gene and Finny discuss the accident after Finny breaks his leg the second time, and Gene admits to what he had done, Finny naturally feels betrayed and very angry.

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This settles down the guilt inside of Gene and he decides to regain the lost friendship between them. The third and final type of war that is described throughout the novel is the largest scale war, a world war.


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In this case, World War II. To schoolboys of today that war has become ancient history, but the encroachments of war upon young men's lives remains essentially the same.


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  5. And what makes A Separate Peace impressive is the way it reaches into the existence of boys at school, an intense, competitive, often lonely existence, from which adults are largely excluded. Because this basis of living does not change, the boys pictured here are, with allowances for fashion, like those of any time. These photographs are not meant to dispel the mystery of their unique world, any more than facts about an author can rob a novel of its art.

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    John Knowles a Separate Peace Essay

    Perhaps they will add new subjects for speculation. I walked along Gilman Street, the best street in town.

    The houses were as handsome and as unusual as I remembered. Clever modernizations of old Colonial manses, extensions in Victorian wood, capacious Greek Revival temples lined the street, as impressive and just as forbidding as ever. I had rarely seen anyone go into one of them, or anyone playing on a lawn, or even an open window.

    A Separate Peace: Final Essay ⇒ Free Book Summary

    It was early afternoon and the grounds and buildings were deserted, since everyone was at sports. There was nothing to distract me as I made my way across a wide yard, called the Far Common, and up to a building as red brick and balanced as the other major buildings, but with a large cupola and a bell and a clock and Latin over the doorway--the First Academy Building.

    In through swinging doors I reached a marble foyer, and stopped at the foot of a long white marble flight of stairs. Although they were old stairs, the worn moons in the middle of each step were not very deep. The marble must be unusually hard. That seemed very likely, only too likely, although with all my thought about these stairs this exceptional hardness had not occurred to me. It was surprising that I had overlooked that, that crucial fact.

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    The quadrangle surrounding the Far Common was never considered absolutely essential to the Devon School. The essence was elsewhere, in the older, uglier, more comfortable halls enclosing the Center Common. There the School's history had unrolled, the fabled riot scenes and Presidential visits and Civil War musterings, if not in these buildings then in their predecessors on the same site. The upper-classmen and the faculty met there, the budget was compiled there, and there students were expelled. When you said "Devon" to an alumnus ten years after graduation he visualized the Center Common. D evon is sometimes considered the most beautiful School in New England, and even on this dismal afternoon its power was asserted.

    But once you passed through the Colonial doorways with only an occasional fan window or low relief pillar to suggest that a certain muted adornment was permissible, you entered an extravaganza of Pompadour splendor. Underfoot the healthy green turf was brushed with dew, and ahead of us we could see a faint green haze hanging above the grass, shot through with the twilight sun.

    Phineas stopped talking for once, so that now I could hear cricket noises and bird cries of dusk, a gymnasium truck gunning along an empty athletic road a quarter of a mile away, a burst of faint, isolated laughter carried to us from the back door of the gym, and then over all, cool and matriarchal, the six o'clock bell from the Academy Building cupola, the calmest, most carrying bell toll in the world, civilized, calm, invincible, and final. The toll sailed over the expansive tops of all the elms, the great slanting roofs and formidable chimneys of the dormitories, the narrow and brittle old housetops, across the open New Hampshire sky to us coming back from the river.

    The dormitories we passed were massive and almost anonymous behind their thick layers of ivy, big, old-looking leaves you would have thought stayed there winter and summer, permanent hanging gardens in New Hampshire. Between the buildings, elms curved so high that you ceased to remember their height until you looked above the familiar trunks and the lowest umbrellas of leaves and took in the lofty complex they held high above, branches and branches of branches, a world of branches with an infinity of leaves. They too seemed permanent and never-changing, an untouched, unreachable world high in space, like the ornamental towers and spires of a great church, too high to be enjoyed, too high for anything, great and remote and never useful.

    No one else happened to be in the pool.

    A Separate Peace: Synthesis Discussion

    Around us gleamed white tile and glass brick; the green, artificial-looking water rocked gently in its shining basin, releasing vague chemical smells and a sense of many pipes and filters; even Finny's voice, trapped in this closed, high-ceilinged room, lost its special resonance and blurred into a general well of noise gathered up toward the ceiling. He said blurringly, "I have a feeling I can swim faster than A.

    Chapter 12

    Hopkins Parker. I found it. I found a single sustaining thought. The thought was, You and Phineas are even already. You are even in enmity. You are both coldly driving ahead for yourselves alone. You did hate him for breaking that school swimmingrecord, but so what? He hated you for getting an A in every course but one last term. You would have had an A in that one except for him. Except for him.