05 November 2009

War and Peace

This is the second blog posting for the A Separate Peace unit and is due before class starts on Tuesday, Nov. 10.

A Separate Peace
takes place during the beginning of World War II. In chapter six, Gene declares that "Peace had deserted Devon."

Just what does that mean? How does the war play a significant role in the novel? How about peace?

For your assignment, you need to write a response to those questions in the comments. Your response should explain what you believe that passage to mean in context of the novel and a discussion of how war and peace play a role in the novel.

For students who have read The Kite Runner, you have an option with this response. You can write about A Separate Peace or apply those questions to The Kite Runner.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

When Gene says that “Peace had deserted Devon” he is trying to say that peace was no longer at Devon. Peace had forsaken his high school. The friendship Gene and Finny have is a competitive relationship which can be why there is no longer peace at Devon. For example, Gene is battling with his fears towards Finny. In this chapter it shows how the characters all are all against each other. Especially when Finny said to Gene, “we’re all enemies.”
victoria

Anonymous said...

In A Separate Peace, Gene mentions that, “Peace has deserted Devon”. This unfortunately means that while the school itself has little to no peace, the relationships within the school also have no tranquility. At one point Gene states that very few relationships at the Devon School did not involve a type of competitiveness. When relationships are based on things that include competiveness, disloyalty and lies, there is no way the relationship can continue on and grow. The war, which is World War II, currently is ripping through the United States in small but significant ways. For example, the senior boys at school are focused on being drafted into the war and not worried about things they should be like college. Although there may not be conflict in the next field over, the thought of war constantly lingers in the back of everyone’s mind. Peace is a rarity in the novel. Peace, tranquility, harmony and serenity are hard to find and valued once stumbled on. Each and every person hopes for peace but it cannot be found not only because of the war, but because of each individual’s inner conflicts. For example, Gene’s inner conflict is his desire to be like Finny and his guilt for hurting a fellow “friend”. Finny’s conflict is his jealousy of Gene’s grades although Finny exceeds expectations when it comes to athletics. Each boy must learn to deal with their jealousy and although peace may be scarce at the school, it doesn’t mean give up on the hope of one day restoring the happiness and calmness of the Devon School.
-Emily

Anonymous said...

In the novel "A Separate Peace" Gene mentions that peace has desserted Devon. When Gene says this he means that much of the peace and happiness that Devon once had is now gone. The war going on throughout the war has had a significant impact on the students and people in the Devon community. The viloence and anger of the war is reflecting into the isolated Devon school. Gene and Finny's relationship is a symbolic of the war going on. The two are constantly fighting, even if one doesn't recognize that they are in a battle. In the story Gene mentions that very few of the realtionships at Devon aren't competetive ones. This shows that most or all of the people at the school are not really in a peaceful state and they are constantly in a battle with eachother, whether they know it or not. This is what WWII is reflecting into thier school. Being drafted into the war is a worry and a priority amongst many of the people at Devon and if you are constantly worrying about the war and constantly thinking about it then it can't really be peaceful until the war is over.

Jake~

Anonymous said...

When Gene said "peace had deserted Devon" he means that there is no longer peace at Devon school. Gene and Finny are very competitive at everything so there is no longer peace. The war plays part in the novel because they war is just starting when the book starts. And also there is war between Finny and Gene. And as the war gets worse the fighting between Finny and Gene gets worse. And peace is important because there was peace before the war. Then there hopefully will be peace at the end of the war.

Anonymous said...

Jack Limauros was the one that was posted at 10:04

Anonymous said...

When Gene says "Peace had deserted Devon" in chapter 6, not only does he mean to imply that the world war was impacting life at Devon, he also means to say that tight schedule, order and tradition of Devon was returning with Winter replacing the carefree summer which was now over. In the chapter, Gene also mentions that the "gypsy music came to an end ...when Phineas fell". For him, Finny's fall and end of Summer marked the end of harmony and ease. Now he'd have to face much difficulty, mostly his inner struggle to find peace within himself.
In the novel, the notion of war and peace occurs consistently in symbolic forms contrasting each other. For example, Summer is characterized as a happy and playful period of time as opposed to Winter when everything feels so overwhelming. The friendly Devon River where boys played during summer contrasts with Naguamsett River which is dull and connected to the salty ocean. Finny who's like a "river god" is associated with the Devon River while Quakenbush and Gene are with Naguamsett River.
We see more of peacefulness and goodness in Finny's heart, but we see Gene constantly fighting with his own self to find what Finny has that separates them from each other.
/Anjita

Anonymous said...

At the beginning of chapter 6 Gene says that “Peace had deserted Devon”. Gene means that peace didn’t exist at Devon anymore. During the summer session the boys were carefree, untroubled, and the school was isolated from the war. Even thought they saw real pictures from the war, they didn’t feel that a war was actually going on because they weren’t affected by it. The only sign in the school that kept them to believe a war was taking place was the senior class. When winter began Gene noticed the changes, “Devon had slipped through their fingers… traditions had been broken, the standards let down, all rules forgotten.” (73) The WWII was beginning to have an influence on the school. The war also mirrors Gene and Finny’s relationship because they are in their own personal war. This might not apply to Finny because as Gene mentioned before, he was never jealous of Gene and thought of him as his best pal. On the other hand, Gene is envious of Finny and is trying to compete against him. ash

Anonymous said...

I believe war plays a major role in Separate Peace because everyone is fighting their own little war in Devon. Every adolescent has some battle they are fighting, whether it is mental, physical, like Finny, in their family,or between their friends, like Gene. On top of fighting their own battle, every boy also worries about drafting for WW2, which is yet another battle constantly in the back of their mind. In this novel, peace is what everybody clings to. It's what all the boys crave. It's what teachers long for. It's especially what the boys want so they may live in their microcosm of Devon and lead a carefree existance. They do not want to worry about their world outside of Devon yet. However, without war, there is not peace. And without peace, there is no war. Without competition, there is no feeling of satisfaction. Without physical struggle, there there is no sense of winning. This concept keeps the boys going through life with hope that the war will end soon, and bring peace to life as they know it.
Jena

Anonymous said...

The war plays a big part in the story because gene and finny have their own little war going on with in them selves right now between genes conscious and finny with a broken leg so gene feels bad because he knocked finny off the tree then he apologizes to finny and found that to be the wrong choice. Tis is an example of one of the conflicts but another one is when gene has trouble NOT telling everyone that finny bĂȘte the swimming record.

john

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