Separate Peace And Peace Desire

Searching for peace can be a challenge when every thing around you has something
to do with war. Growing up can be difficult as well but through the tough times
people become more knowledgeable. In A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, Finny,

Gene, and Leper each struggle find peace and escape reality without having to
face the truths to their lives. For Leper, Finny, and Gene, it is hard to find
tranquility with a war happening around them. For example, Finny couldnít find
serenity with himself because of his broken leg and that caused him to devise
the idea of the fake war. It was hard for him to be happy because of his
disability. Because of this, he felt useless and so he produced this idea so he
could be at ease and not be an outcast. In addition, Leper looks for a beaver
dam instead of working to be carefree and escape the war, "...we all
volunteered...But not Leper." He does this because he is afraid that a change
in his life may disrupt his quiet state. By escaping through nature, he is
avoiding the truths to his life. Furthermore, Gene fins a challenge in being
placid because of his situation with Finny. He is unsure of his own opinion
because he is used to agreeing with Finny, that he never developed his own
thoughts and ideas. Itís not until Finny\'s death that he finds his peace. With
all these things happening around them they struggle to be mellow but find a
similar relief in the fact that they will always have their own separate peace
at Devon. Through all these events, all the characters suffer their own
hardships. For example, Gene loses the friend he never knew he had. He was so
busy competing with Finny that he never realized what a true friend he was. All
his jealousy towards him turned to hate and eventually ended in tragedy. In
addition, Leper suffers by discovering things about himself that he never
realized. He learns that he is tired of pleasing other people all the time,

"Whatís she got to be pleased about...Iím pleasing myself!"(134). All he
wants is someone who cares for him and thatís what heís hoping to get when

Gene comes to visit him. Furthermore, Finny endures the pain of realizing that
he was misled by the one he cared about the most. For Gene the friendship was a
bitter rivalry but for Finny, it was the best thing that ever happened to him.

They each suffer through all this, but Finny suffers the most by being forced to
face the truth about his accident. All this shows how they each tolerate pain
through maturity, and learn more about life. As each of the characters grow up,
they become more knowledgeable. For example, Leper truly finds himself when he
comes home from war. This "crazy" Leper is who he really is. He was never
sure of himself because he was always too busy escaping reality. In addition,

Finny becomes more knowledgeable after he finds the truth about his accident. He
was resentful towards Gene for doing such a thing; "You want to break
something else in me! Is that why youíre here!" (76). His friendship with

Gene was part of what kept him composed and the truth shattered his false
representation of reality. Furthermore, when the truth about Finnyís accident
comes out, Gene world is shattered, and he sees everything around him the way it
really is. This view gives him a better understanding of life. He learns that
you canít just escape reality because it will always be there. Through all
these events these characters become more knowledgeable by learning more about
themselves and the world around them. Throughout the story, each character finds
that growing up is a complex and hazardous task. In the search for peace, they
lose a sense of reality but gain maturity. They also lose a sense of security
that gave them the common bond they shared at Devon.