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A Seperate Peace

Literary Elements Analysis

Ashley Battenberg

on 1 October 2012

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Transcript of A Seperate Peace

A Separate Peace Literary Elements Analysis
The author introduces the setting very well. He starts out as a grown man, coming back to visit his old school and having a flashback. This was a good way to introduce the setting because it was easy to understand.
I think the author's introduction of the characters should have been quicker. It took me a while to figure out who everyone was, and this made it harder to get into the book right away. For example, it took me a while to figure out that Phineas was Gene's best friend. Plot line A Separate Peace is told from Gene's perspective. I think this was a good way to tell the story because it lets the reader in on his feelings. I never would have understood why Gene was mad at Phineas, or why he pushed him out of the tree, or why he decided to tell him, if it wasn't told in first person. Point of View I think the rising action is what makes this book good. It is hard to know that anything is going to happen until it does. For example, I could tell that Gene was having confused feelings about his rivalry with Phineas, but it still surprised me when he pushed Phineas out of the tree. This simple action changed Gene and Phineas’s life forever, as well as the whole course of the story. Conclusion Falling action Climax Rising action Introduction The climax happens near the end of the book when Phineas finds out that Gene had pushed him out of the tree. In his rage he falls down the stairs, and he dies overnight at the hospital. The climax is very short, and leads almost instantly to the falling action. I think the author should have stretched it out a bit because it would've made the whole story more dramatic. The falling action in the book was really dull, and I was so disapointed by Phineas's death that it was hard to keep reading. I think the author could have done a lot better job of keeping it interesting. One thing he could've done is stopped the flashback and gone back to the present. A Separate Peace takes place during World War II at a a boarding school called Devon in Vermont. The setting is a very important part of the story. The war affects the lifestyle of many people, especially at a boarding school for boys. For example, most boys, like Gene and Phineas, are trying to make the best of their last free summer at Devon before they are drafted. I think having the setting at a boarding school was a good choice because it enhances the whole war atmosphere. Setting At the beginning of the story, Gene starts out as a grown man coming back to visit his old school. I liked that because it showed me that he valued his past. The flashback started out with Gene and his friends deciding to jump out of a tree to show their support for the military. Gene is afraid and doesn't want to do it, but he doesn't want to seem like a wimp in front of his friends and does it anyways. This showed me that he cared a lot about what his friends thought about him. Gene also does a lot of other things that he doesn't want to do, like going to the beach with Phineas during school hours. I like how the author used Gene's actions to characterize him because they showed who he was more than his words did. Characterization of Gene The conclusion was about as dull as the rising action. Not much happened except Gene deciding to go off to war before he was drafted. The author didn't describe his feelings about Phineas's death in depth, and I wish he would have. The theme in A Separate Peace is Man verses Self. Gene battles his own feelings and the catastrophes he causes are what come back to haunt him. The secondary theme is to always trust your best friend, and to not let small rivalries go too far. I liked how the theme was kind of hidden and you had to think a lot to figure out that Gene is only battling against himself. This made the story more original. Theme A Separate Peace starts out with Gene as a thirty-something man coming back to visit Vermont. He has two things he wants to see: Devon boarding school, and an old tree. He has a flashback at the tree and the whole story is about why these two things are so important. I think using a flashback was a great way to tell the story, because throughout the book I was trying to figure out why the school and the tree were so important to him. Flashback The author used the tree Gene pushed Phineas out of as a symbol. It represented all of Gene's regrets, but it also represented care-free summers spent with Phineas. I really liked how the author kept coming back to the tree because it reminded me of everything that had happened in the book. Symbol Before the flashback, Gene hints that something important happened at Devon. He says that when he steps on to campus he "is feeling fears echo, but also an uncontrollable joy". Since this was at the beginning of the book, I didn't know what it meant, but it did encourage me to keep reading. I think this is an important part of the book because it starts you out with a little hint of what the book is going to be about, but just enough that you will want to keep reading. Foreshadowing By Ashley Battenberg
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