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Compare And Contrast A Sep. Peace

832 words - 3 pages

s John Knowles's A Separate Peace and the movie Dead Poet's Society, starring Robin Williams, go behind the scenes and show us the inner workings of an all boys preparatory school. Welton Academy is the setting of Dead Poet's Society while New Hampshire's Devon School is where A Separate Peace takes place. Both works deal with how one individual steps into the school and changes things, for better or for worse. A Separate Peace and Dead Poet's Society differ in that, in Poet's, no one accepts guilt for what happens, while Gene Forrester, the main character in A Separate Peace, claims responsibility for all that has happened. Both A Separate Peace and Dead Poet's Society deal with similar issues in similar settings, but they differ in that there's no clear choice for a guilty party in Poet's and A Separate Peace has one. Things start to change in A Separate Peace when Gene Forrester, all around good guy and academic scholar, meets Finny, whose innate charisma consistently allows him to get away with mischief. Gene begins to admire Finny and is given the chance to be like him when Finny urges Gene to jump into a river from a tree. They then start a secret society based on this event, much like the boys of Welton Academy. The "troubles" at Welton begin when John Keating is hired to teach English. A school built on "discipline, tradition, honor, and excellence," Welton is not yet ready for Keating, an eccentric teacher with unique, if not over the top, teaching methods. The boys; Knox Overstreet, Todd Anderson, Charlie Dalton, and Neil Perry; are amused and flabbergasted when Keating orders them to rip out Dr. Pritchard's introduction to the poetry book. They are even more amused when he tells them to stand on the desk or conduct a class on "the dangers of conformity." They, too, start a secret society inspired by Keating. While the feelings of the students at Welton are purely of admiration, thoughts of jealousy and envy filter into Forrester's feelings toward his roommate. He suspects Finny envies his academic achievements and is trying to distract him. Although he still maintains a friendship with Finny, the feeling has now progressed to outright hatred. Gene realizes...

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