A Separate Peace
“Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed” -Friedrich Nietzsche. A Separate Peace by John Knowles is a coming of age and tragedy novel. In this book, John Knowles shows us the lives of teenage boys during World War II. They boys may seem alright with their cheerful attitudes, but the raging war is still on their minds. They are wondering what it would be like to become a war hero, how everyone would respect them or if the war isn’t as great as it seems. The glory of World War II enticed Finny, Leper, and Brinker only to later reveal to them its true colors.
Finny is very charismatic, athletic, and everyone tends to love him, even the teachers. Finny wants to join the war and be part of what was going on. However, when Finny breaks his leg and becomes crippled, he is in denial about the war. He says that now he believes that the war is fake and that it’s just a huge scheme. Right before he was about have an operation for his broken leg, the second time, Finny confesses his actual reason for being in denial towards the war, he says, “‘I’ve been writing to the Army and the Navy and the Marines and the Canadians and everybody else all winter. Did you know that? No, you didn’t know that. I used the Post Office in town as my return address. They all gave me the same answer after they saw my medical report on me. The answer was no soap. We can’t use you. I also wrote to the Coast Guard, the merchant Marines, I also wrote to General de Gaulle personally, I also wrote Chiang Kai-shek, and I was about ready to write to somebody in Russia.’” (Knowles 181-182). “‘I’ll hate it everywhere if I’m not in this war! Why do you think I kept saying there wasn’t any war all winter? I was going to keep on saying it until two seconds after I got a letter from Ottawa or Chungking or someplace saying ‘Yes, you can enlist with us.’’” (Knowles 182). These two quotes about Finny’s confession show how he has been trying to be part of the war, but the army wouldn’t take him due to the fact that he is crippled. World War II seemed almost “magical” to Finny, he refused to actually believe that it was real, until he was a part of it. Out of all the Devon boys, Finny was the one who wanted to join the war the most.
World War II affected Elwin “Leper” Lepellier the most out of all the boys. Before the war, Leper was peaceful, quiet, calm, and thoughtful. He's also loved the outdoors. Leper would go...