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In the 1940s during World War II the young men were all expected to enlist into the army when they came of age John Knowles war-novel A Separate Peace is no exception as it was an honor to fight for the country In this novel however the real struggle is fought in the hearts of the characters not on the battlefield Galens 247 There are several separate peaces that the characters have found in their community those they find in themselves and the ones from occurrences in their livesGene the main character of A Separate Peace attended Devon School of New Hampshire during his schooling years with many other young lads including his best friend Phineas During the summer session before their senior year Gene Finny and the others of the class seem as though they are separated from the war It was a summer in which the boys reminded the older substitute teachers of what peace was like as they were carefree and wild which was the life the war was being fought to preserve Knowles 23-24 The students were able to forget about the upcoming war with creating new games and finding novel ways to be entertained These include playing blitzball jumping from the tree by the Devon River creating the Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session and having the Winter Carnival even though theres probably a rule against it Knowles 130 These all allowed an escape from reality for the boys because they did not have to pay attention to what was happening outside of the school grounds Gene and his friends lived for what was around them and for each other as the bonds between them intensified during the summer session Galens 248 The tree also allotted freedom from the pressure of World War II Phineas came up with the idea of jumping from the tree to gain a thrill of excitement by plummeting into the water of the Devon
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