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A Separate Peace by John Knowles


Knowles spent many summer vacations there. At the age of fifteen, Knowles applied to an elite New ... 1941, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: A Separate Peace by John Knowles

A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  • A novel of growing up during war times.

Author John Knowles
  • Born in 1926 in West Virginia
  • Best known works are set in New England

Knowles Childhood
  • Parents were originally from Massachusetts.
  • Knowles spent many summer vacations there.
  • At the age of fifteen, Knowles applied to an
    elite New Hampshire boarding school, Phillips
    Exeter Academy.

John Knowles continued…
  • Knowles expresses his affections and fond
    memories for his boarding school memories in A
    Separate Peace.
  • Soon after Knowles entered Exeter, the U.S.
    declared war on Japan and entered World War II.
  • Knowles went into the military after he graduated
    from high school and trained to be a pilot in the
    U.S. Army Air Force Aviation Program.
  • When the war ended, he attended Yale University
    in New Haven, Connecticut.

A Separate Peace
  • The novel was first published in England in 1959
    and in the U.S. in 1960.
  • It proved to be such a success that Knowles was
    able to resign from his job and devote his time
    to writing and travel.
  • He wrote many other novels, none as successful as
    A Separate Peace.
  • Today, he lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

  • Devon School in New Hampshire
  • The central story begins less than a year after
    December 7, 1941, the Japanese attack on Pearl
    Harbor, in Hawaii.

  • World War II September 1939 to September 1945.
  • Called the World war because a majority of the
    worlds nations split into one of two opposing
  • Allies- included Russia, U.S.A, United Kingdom,
    and China.
  • Axis- included Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and
    Imperial Japan

World War II
  • The most devastating war in history.
  • Loss of human life estimated at 72 million.
  • Two-thirds of victims were civilians.
  • Holocaust victims numbered in the millions.

U.S. Involvement
  • The U.S. entered the World
  • War after Pearl Harbor.
  • Fear of war caused many Americans to turn a blind
    eye to the conflicts overseas.
  • Pearl Harbor changed everything.
  • 1940 brought the first peacetime draft in the
    nations history.
  • Men 21-35 years of age were required to register
    for military service.
  • Age then lowered to eighteen.

  • Many young men couldnt wait to be drafted
    patriotism was at an all-time high.
  • Teenagers often felt it was their duty to enlist.

Patriotism and Change
  • The war brought changes to the American economy
    and lifestyle.
  • Need for weapons created jobs.
  • Americans attended rallies, bought war bonds,
    conserved fuel and rubber by car pooling, and
    planted victory gardens.
  • Society also began changing and adjusting due to
    the man shortage.
  • In short, American life, as it had been, changed
    for the duration- a phrase that meant until
    the end of the war.

  • Imagine going to high school while the deadliest
    and most devastating war in history was
  • How would it affect you? Would your life be any

The War in Iraq
  • How does the war in Iraq affect you?
  • Do the news stories and pictures affect your life
    or view of the world?

A Separate Peace Plot
  • War does not concern the majority of the plot.
  • Main characters are juniors.
  • They attend an elite private boarding school.

Theme and Motif
  • Theme a broad idea in a story, or a message or
    lesson conveyed by a work
  • A work can have more than one theme.
  • Motif a reoccurring subject, theme, or idea in a
    literary, artistic, or musical work.
  • Difference between theme and motif
  • Theme are ideas explored by the text.
  • Motifs are reoccurring elements that represent

Themes Motifs in A Separate Peace
  • Themes
  • Identity- The development of self in the face of
    peer pressure.
  • Man vs. Self- Even in times of war, the most
    difficult battle is within the human heart.
  • Motifs-
  • Transformation- the characters and the school
    undergo immense changes throughout the story.
  • Competition- the competitive nature of athletics
    and of friendship.
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