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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 ... – 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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