By Harold, Ed Bloom
Hugely prompt for educational collections, this is often one in a sequence of books which offers contemporary essays by way of famous critics who research features of a unmarried literary paintings intimately. This e-book covers John Knowles' 'A Separate Peace'.
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Extra resources for John Knowles's A Separate Peace (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations)
22 James M. Mellard In addition to the symbolic counterpoint arising from the temporal and physical settings, contrapuntal character relationships control the development of theme and structure. The major character conflict is that which Gene imagines to exist between him and Finny. Like the novel’s symbolism, this conflict grows rather naturally from the setting, for a sense of rivalry often prevails in such schools as Devon. Superficially, it is based upon the school’s dual emphasis on athletics and scholarship, because Finny is by far the school’s best athlete, while Gene is close to being its very best student.
But the interrelationship of both characters is structured to bring about the novel’s tragic denouement and dramatize its basic theme. As the story develops, Gene’s gnawing but unfounded fear that Phineas, out of envy, is seeking to destroy his reputation as a student causes him to mistake Phineas’s real intentions. The upshot of this is a betrayal by Gene that results eventually in the death of Phineas but ultimately in the self-education of Gene. The Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session is another one of Finny’s improvisations that not only brings out his athletic ability but also further endears himself to his adventure-starved classmates.
But if these changes seem to be governed by something absolute and unfathomable and yet seem to create something better out of a process that appears undesirable, Gene’s transformation also seems to result in a being of greater durability, if not of goodness, one better able to keep his balance in a chaotic world than either the original Gene or Finny. To Gene, Finny is a god, a god of the river, as his name suggests. But, god or man, Finny is not, as Gene tells him, suited for the world as it is, for the war and, thus, for reality.
John Knowles's A Separate Peace (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations) by Harold, Ed Bloom