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A Separate Peace In his book A Separate Peace John Knowles communicates what war really is He uses a number of complex characters in a very complicated plot in order to convey the harsh sad cruel destructive forces of war The Characters Gene and Finny are used as opposing forces in a struggle between that cold reality of war-that is World War II in this story-and a separate peace A peace away from the real war and all of the terrible things that come with it Through their relationship that is a struggle on both sides form the beginning Knowles establishes the reality of war in all of its essence Gene Forrester is established as the force of reality which is the war This idea is established clearly in a lengthy speech Gene gives as the narrator of the story in Chapter Three Everyone has a moment in history which belongs particularly to him It is the moment when his emotions achieve their most powerful sway over him and afterward when you say to this person the world today or life or reality he will assume that you mean this moment even if it is fifty years past The world through his unleashed emotions imprinted itself upon him and he carries the stamp of that passing moment forever 32 This statement explains that Gene must have something that is his stamp This stamp appears to define an individual-exemplifying what he stands for It is found that this is true in the next paragraph where Gene continues For me this moment-four years is a moment in history-war the war The war was and is reality for me I still live and think in its atmosphere 32 Later in the same paragraph he goes on to say America is not never has been and never will be what the songs and poems call it a land of plenty Nylon meat gasoline and steel are rare There are
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