The Display Of Peer Pressures Essay

972 words - 4 pages

"Lord of the Flies by William Golding and A Separate Peace by John Knowles are classic examples of peer pressure." These novels are a perfect display of how adolescents falter under the influence of their equals. At the time the characters are surrounded by war and confusion in their lives. The choices they make are not determined by their consciences, but by the mental domination of their fair weather friends. They experience freedom from adults which is a factor in their behavior. The boys learn valuable lessons through their suffering, through death amongst each other, and through intellectual regression. In A Separate Peace the boys are tested in a series of events. They are all pressured to go to war. At the tree Gene was tempted by Finny to jump from the branch. Although Gene knew that he could be injured, he did what he thought would please Finny. That night Finny and Gene formed the Suicide Society. When they returned to the tree one night Finny was going to jump when Gene shook the tree. His feelings overwhelmed him and it was comparable to a spontaneous act of will. Finny fell and was seriously wounded. He was disabled from playing sports anymore. He had previously broken school records effortlessly. The boys taunted Gene because they had blamed him for this accident. When Gene visited Finny, he pushed Gene on to be the best at sports like he once was. This was Finny living his dreams out through Gene. Gene was already competing with Chet Douglas to be the valedictorian. With all these goals Gene was loosing his own self-identity and was paranoid. Finally when Finny died, Gene is heartbroken. Leper was rejected by the boys and his only relationship was with Gene, who really did not care that much either. Leper is the first of the boys to go to war. Although the army shows the satisfaction you will find in battle, it does not tell of the hardships faced. Leper mentally changes and is eventually declared AWOL. By leaving he is trying to abandon his moral obstacles. The Suicide Society shows how Finny had control over the boys psyche. While they were not foolish enough to follow his example of jumping, Gene did due to the pressure onset by Finny. The boys that did not jump were considered cowards. This generalization was made by Finny who had the only say in how the boys acted. If it were not this way, the boys may have had their own opinion on the rational conclusions they faced. In Lord of the Flies the boys find themselves stranded without any adult supervision. They elect Ralph to be chief. As leader Ralph is faced with the duty of their survival and rescue. Piggy is...

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