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A Separate Peace


Get ready for your quiz over Chapters 1-3 of A Separate Peace By John Knowles Announcements: No vocab this week. Essay peer edit on block day. Bring a typed rough draft! – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: A Separate Peace

A Separate Peace
  • Get ready for your
  • quiz over Chapters 1-3 of

By John Knowles
Announcements No vocab this week. Essay peer
edit on block day. Bring a typed rough draft!
A Separate Peace Pacing
  • 4-5 due Friday, May 17th
  • 6-8 due Monday, May 20th
  • 9-11 due on Block Day, May 22nd/23rd
  • 12-13 due on Friday, May 24th
  • Test over A Separate Peace on May 29/30

About the Author
  • John Knowles
  • Born in West Virginia on September 16, 1926
  • Knowles was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy,
    which served as a model for the setting of A
    Separate Peace.
  • A Separate Peace was Knowles first work, which
    earned him the Rosenthal Award of the National
    Institute of Arts and Letters. This established
    Knowles as a successful author.

Phillips Exeter Academy
  • Devon School, the setting of A Separate Peace,
    is based heavily on the Phillips Exeter Academy.

Phillips Exeter Academy
The Victory Corps
  • During WWII, schools emphasized physical fitness
    to prepare their male students for war.
  • The boarding schools would participate in
    Victory Corps.
  • This required students to participate in war
    oriented extracurricular activities and home
    front volunteer projects.

1940s Prep School Elitism
  • 1940s prep schools were viewed as elitist clubs
  • They were meant for the children of the very
    wealthy, and these children were often
    disconnected from society and shielded from

Historical Context
  • World War II
  • Began in 1939 when the Germans invaded Poland,
    and officially ended in August 1945, when the
    Japanese surrendered.
  • A Separate Peace takes place during the summer
    of 1942, directly in the center of World War II.
  • In America
  • In order to cope with the war, America
    instituted rations on books, sugar, coffee, and
    other goods.
  • To conserve gasoline, a national 35 MPH speed
    limit was implemented, and driving for pleasure
    was banned.
  • By the summer of 1942, many Americans realized
    that the war was far from over.

The Draft
  • FDR signed the Selective Service Training Act
    in 1940.
  • It required all men sign up for selective service
    upon turning 18. These men could be called to war
    at anytime if their draft card was selected.
  • The draft for WWII lasted from 1940-1943. Of the
    50 million registered, 10 million were inducted
    into the military.

Literary Context
  • A Separate Peace belongs to a genre of
    literature called Bildungsroman. This translates
    to a novel of formation. This is a German term
    which describes a novel whose main character
    matures over time, usually from childhood.
  • a coming of age novel that represents the
    psychological, moral social maturation of the
  • Similar to Lord of the Flies, Jane Eyre, or To
    Kill a Mockingbird, A Separate Peace deals with
    children coming to terms with their identity and
    what role they play in the world.

Main Themes
Internal and external conflicts. The plot is
dominated by Genes progression toward
maturity. What is percieved versus what is the
truth? The duality of man (good and evil inside
all of us) The relationship between war and
peace. The backdrop of the war plays a vital role
in the novel. The nature of friendship. The
relationship between Gene and Finny is the
novels focus. The power of guilt and
jealousy. Peoples ability to change. Is change
really possible?
What Is An Archetype, Again?
  • Archetypes are recurring patterns (plot
    structures, symbols, character types, themes)
    that occur in mythology, religion, and stories
    across cultures and time periods.

Archetypal Settings and Symbols
  • Water the mystery of creation the life cycle
    (birth-death-resurrection) purification and
  • The Sea the mother of all life death and
    rebirth the unconscious

Archetypal Settings and Symbols
  • The Underworld a place of death represents an
    encounter with the dark side of the self

Archetypal Settings and Symbols
  • Tree inexhaustible life due to its growth,
    proliferation, and generative and regenerative
    processes wisdom

Situational Archetypes
  • The Fall a descent from a higher to a lower
    state of being, from innocence and bliss to
    lossoften accompanied by an expulsion from

Archetypal Characters
  • The Christ figure a sacrificial, blameless
    person who takes on the sins of a community.
  • The Judas/betrayer The person who turns on the
    Christ figure for personal gain.

Situational Archetypes
  • The Ritual Ceremonies that mark the rite of
    passage into another state.
  • Sacrificial
  • Initiation
  • Coming of Age
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