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A Separate Peace. An Introduction & Discussion for Chapter 1. Introduction to the Novel. 2 friends at school one summer in the early years of World War II Begins: Fall of 1958 Flashback: Summer of 1942. World War II. 1939 - 1945 Worldwide conflict involving every major power in the world.

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a separate peace

A Separate Peace

An Introduction & Discussion for Chapter 1

introduction to the novel
Introduction to the Novel
  • 2 friends at school one summer in the early years of World War II
  • Begins: Fall of 1958
  • Flashback: Summer of 1942
world war ii
World War II
  • 1939 - 1945
  • Worldwide conflict involving every major power in the world.
  • We, America, did not want to be involved in another European War like World War I
  • We tried to help while trying to stay out of the war, but…
  • Bombing of Pearl Harbor sparks our involvement
life at school
Life at School
  • Sheltered from direct contact with the war
  • Life filled with studies, games, sports, and fun
  • Rest of the world? War!
3 main sources of communication
3 Main Sources of Communication
  • Radio
  • Newspaper – acts as a historical record of the times
  • Word-of-Mouth

*Pre-age of TV

*We will be concerned with Newspaper media – the boys would have preferred to maintain their “separate peace” but the news keeps encroaching on their oasis.

chapter 1
Chapter 1
  • Return to 16/17 initiation years
  • What will he learn from each event?
  • What “wars” are taking place?
    • Internal
    • External Wars!
differences then vs now
Differences: Then vs. Now
  • School:
    • Before: Vibrant
    • Now: Museum-like; preserved
  • Self:
    • Before: Lived in fear without understanding
    • Now: Able to evaluate the fear and its influence on his life
why does gene return
Why does Gene return?
  • To compare his emotional status between then and now
what two places does he visit
What two places does he visit?

“There were a couple of places now which I wanted to see. Both were fearful sites, and that was why I wanted to see them” (2).

the academic building
The Academic Building
  • Main Hall / 1st Building

“In through swinging doors I reached a marble foyer, and stopped at the foot of a long white marble flight of stairs…” (3).

the tree
The Tree
  • “The tree was not only stripped by the cold season, it seemed weary from age, enfeebled, dry, I was thankful, very thankful that I had seen it. So the more things remain the same, the more they change after all – plus c’est la meme chose, plus ca change. Nothing endures, not a tree, not love, not even a death by violence. Changed, I headed back through the mud. I was drenched; anybody could see it was time to come in out of the rain” (6).
  • Summer of 1942
    • “The Tree was tremendous…” (6)
symbols to watch for
Symbols to Watch For
  • Mud
    • Mud when he jumps
    • Mud in the present
  • Rain/Water
  • Fog – blurs vision – cannot see clearly the things important to him in youth
  • Tree – physical difference (appearances/scars)
john knowles the author
John Knowles – the author
  • Doesn’t linger on the tree
  • Descriptions are packed with religious terms: Steeple, damned, hell
  • What does this suggest about the tree?
the tree1
The Tree

Jump from the Tree

    • Rejection of what aspect of life?
    • Baptism by river (water = cleansing)
  • Before: Gene sticks to rules
  • After: Moves away from them
phineas finny
Phineas (Finny)
  • Finny = different than Gene
    • Gene makes him into a demi-god
    • Perfect; one to be worshipped
    • Movement flows easily
    • Leader
  • Gene = Follower
  • Gene and Finny
    • How are they alike?
    • How are they different?
metaphors to track
Metaphors to Track
  • The Tree
  • Blitzball and the Snowball Fight
  • Finny’s Clothes
  • The Winter Carnival
  • World War II and Phineas
the assignment
The Assignment
  • Analyze each of the symbols as you read
  • What does each stand for?
  • Examine/Consider all aspects of each – including rules, activities, etc.
  • Read Chapters 2 and 3 for Friday