A Separate Peace
A Separate Peace is considered to be a bildungsroman. Support the classification for this genre using examples and quotes from the book.
In 1959 John Knowles wrote the bildungsroman novel, A Separate Peace. In the beginning of the book the main character Gene and his best friend Phineas (Finny) are introduced. It is the summer of 1942, a time which gene mentions that the boys at Devon Boarding School are “..the few young men who could be free and happy.” (Knowles 61). The boys are free to have fun and experience the coming of age process. This process includes experiencing adult emotions, loss of innocence, losing those close to you, as well as coming to terms with one’s self.
In chapter four Gene starts to experience feelings of doubt towards Finny. Gene realizes that he only failed his exam because of spending time with finny. When finny sarcastically says “I’d kill myself of jealous envy.” (Knowles 52), Gene takes it seriously. He starts to believe that there is no longer anyone he can trust, “One certainty after another blasted-…up went the hope that there was anyone in this school-this world-whom I could trust.”(Knowles 53). This isn’t the first time Gene doesn’t trust finny. Earlier in the book Finny shares his feelings with Gene but Gene cant return the feeling, “ I started to; I nearly did. But something held me back. Perhaps I was stopped by that level of feeling, deeper than thought, which contains the truth.” (Knowles 48).