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A Separate Peace Literary Analysis Prompts Walk Through.

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Presentation on theme: "A Separate Peace Literary Analysis Prompts Walk Through."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Separate Peace Literary Analysis Prompts Walk Through

2 Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms (literary allusion) When Frederick Henry deserts from the Italian army at the conclusion of Book III, he states, “Anger washed away in the river along with any obligation.” At the opening of Book IV, Henry asserts: “I have made a separate peace.”

3 In many novels, the central setting is highly symbolic and helps to develop the themes and ideas in the novel. Explain how the setting of A Separate Peace is symbolic and how the description of the setting helps to develop a theme of the novel. In many novels, the central setting is highly symbolic and helps to develop the themes and ideas in the novel. Explain how the setting of A Separate Peace is symbolic and how the description of the setting helps to develop a theme of the novel.

4 Microcosm Parallels Macrocosm Devon vs. Naguamsett Rivers (Hint: See pg. 68 which begins “We had never used”... and ends “... astride these two rivers.”) (Hint: See pg. 68 which begins “We had never used”... and ends “... astride these two rivers.”) Blog Related to Prompt

5 Some novels depict a central incident which serves as a focal point for a major theme or conflict. Select a central incident from A Separate Peace (such as the fall from the tree, Gene’s talk with Finny in his home, or the “trial”), and explain how this incident is crucial and what theme or conflict it reveals. Some novels depict a central incident which serves as a focal point for a major theme or conflict. Select a central incident from A Separate Peace (such as the fall from the tree, Gene’s talk with Finny in his home, or the “trial”), and explain how this incident is crucial and what theme or conflict it reveals.

6 Fall from the Tree “It had loomed in my memory as a huge lone spike dominating the riverbank, forbidding as an artillery piece, high as the beanstalk” (13). “The tree was tremendous, an irate steely black steeple beside the river” (14).

7 The Tree and Original Sin Key symbol Key symbol Allegorical Allegorical Biblical rendition of original sin Biblical rendition of original sin Innocent, prideful Adam Innocent, prideful Adam Eats fruit in order to be like God (to know) Eats fruit in order to be like God (to know) Loses paradise or innocence beside river of life Loses paradise or innocence beside river of life Gains chaos outside Garden of Eden Gains chaos outside Garden of Eden

8 Adam Mirrors Every Journey from Innocence to Experience (Connect with Gene) Discovery of evil within self Discovery of evil within self Knowledge of experience Knowledge of experience Gene’s envy of superior friend grows Gene’s envy of superior friend grows Gene’s pride leads to one moment in tree Gene’s pride leads to one moment in tree Before healing, Finny re-breaks leg—dies Before healing, Finny re-breaks leg—dies Gene is radically changed—no longer innocent of his own maliciousness Gene is radically changed—no longer innocent of his own maliciousness Filled with guilt—cast out into chaos of WWII Filled with guilt—cast out into chaos of WWII

9 Your Turn Analyze the Following Events Gene’s talk with Finny in his home Gene’s talk with Finny in his home The “trial” The “trial” (Perhaps the beach trip) (Perhaps the beach trip) Other events of your choice Other events of your choice

10 The narrator in A Separate Peace states that at Devon, “there were few relationships... not based on rivalry.” Using your own experience, observations, and reading to develop your position, discuss the validity of the assertion as it applies to relationships/friendships in general. The narrator in A Separate Peace states that at Devon, “there were few relationships... not based on rivalry.” Using your own experience, observations, and reading to develop your position, discuss the validity of the assertion as it applies to relationships/friendships in general.

11 “I was beginning to see that Phineas could get away with anything. I couldn’t help envying him that a little, which was perfectly normal. There was no harm in envying even your best friend a little” (25).

12 Friendship Quotes (quotes appropriate for this prompt as well as others) Friendship Quotes from A Separate Peace Friendship Quotes from A Separate Peace

13 Discuss each season’s metaphorical connection with Gene. (Remember to connect with theme.) Discuss each season’s metaphorical connection with Gene. (Remember to connect with theme.)

14 Seasons--Gene Remember to discuss Gene’s return to Devon as an adult. “Changed, I headed back through the mud. I was drenched; anybody could see it was time to come in out of the rain.”

15 In A Separate Peace, numerous characters escape from reality. Select a character or characters and discuss the significance of these escapes in portraying a theme in the novel (perhaps man’s inhumanity to man). In A Separate Peace, numerous characters escape from reality. Select a character or characters and discuss the significance of these escapes in portraying a theme in the novel (perhaps man’s inhumanity to man).

16 Which characters escape? Gene Gene Finny Finny Leper Leper Others? Others?

17 Discuss Gene and Finny as the personification of conformity and nonconformity. (Be sure to address the implications—thematic.) Discuss Gene and Finny as the personification of conformity and nonconformity. (Be sure to address the implications—thematic.) Evidence Evidence Themes Themes

18 Compare and contrast the treatment of the haven versus the wilderness motif in A Separate Peace and Dead Poets Society. (Explore theme.) Compare and contrast the treatment of the haven versus the wilderness motif in A Separate Peace and Dead Poets Society. (Explore theme.) Be sure to qualify your interpretation of wilderness and haven. Be sure to qualify your interpretation of wilderness and haven.

19 Haven A Separate Peace? A Separate Peace? Dead Poets Society? Dead Poets Society?

20 Wilderness A Separate Peace A Separate Peace Dead Poets Society Dead Poets Society (interesting connection with A Midsummer (interesting connection with A Midsummer Night’s Dream) Night’s Dream)

21 Write an essay in which you discuss the role of adults in A Separate Peace and Dead Poets Society. Write an essay in which you discuss the role of adults in A Separate Peace and Dead Poets Society.

22 Adults to Consider A Separate Peace A Separate Peace Dead Poets Society Dead Poets Society

23 Discuss the incorporation of one or more of the following motifs in A Separate Peace and/or Dead Poet’s Society to convey theme—savior motif, twin motif, innocence to experience motif. Discuss the incorporation of one or more of the following motifs in A Separate Peace and/or Dead Poet’s Society to convey theme—savior motif, twin motif, innocence to experience motif.

24 See Handout on Exploring Theme (Motifs are discussed.)

25 Twin Motif Questions Can we consider Gene and Finny to be, allegorically, the same person(ality)? Can we consider Gene and Finny to be, allegorically, the same person(ality)? Do they or can they, in fact, exist totally separate from one another? Do they or can they, in fact, exist totally separate from one another? When the story begins, does Gene represent one extreme and Finny another? When the story begins, does Gene represent one extreme and Finny another? If so, what are those extremes? If so, what are those extremes?

26 Can you accurately define Gene’s “Phineas filled” personality and explain why “becoming Finny” he is actually able to avoid constructing his “Maginot Lines” and attain A Separate Peace? Can you accurately define Gene’s “Phineas filled” personality and explain why “becoming Finny” he is actually able to avoid constructing his “Maginot Lines” and attain A Separate Peace?

27 Ma ⋅ gi ⋅ not [mazh-uh-noh; Fr. ma-zhee-noh]–noun André, 1877–1932, French minister of war 1929–32: backed construction of Maginot Line. French politician who as minister of war ( and ) proposed a line of fortification, called the Maginot Line, along France's border with Germany. Thought to be impregnable, the line was bypassed and later captured by the Germans (1940). French politician who as minister of war ( and ) proposed a line of fortification, called the Maginot Line, along France's border with Germany. Thought to be impregnable, the line was bypassed and later captured by the Germans (1940).

28 Discuss the incorporation of allusions— biblical and/or mythological—in A Separate Peace to convey theme. Discuss the incorporation of allusions— biblical and/or mythological—in A Separate Peace to convey theme.

29 Biblical/Mythological Allusions to Consider The Tree—Original Sin The Tree—Original Sin Cain and Abel (see my web site for synopsis of biblical stories) Cain and Abel (see my web site for synopsis of biblical stories) Finny as the Savior (Christ Figure) Finny as the Savior (Christ Figure) Finny as Apollo (lecture notes) Finny as Apollo (lecture notes) Finny as Dionysus (lecture notes) Finny as Dionysus (lecture notes)

30 Write an essay in which you analyze John Knowles’ title A Separate Peace Write an essay in which you analyze John Knowles’ title A Separate Peace

31 A Separate Peace What are the possibilities? What are the possibilities? Escape experienced by students in the winter carnival? Escape experienced by students in the winter carnival? Escape from reality like Leper’s? Escape from reality like Leper’s?

32 A Separate Peace Does title relate more to Gene or Finny? Does title relate more to Gene or Finny? How does the title relate to war? How does the title relate to war? What does the title mean in terms of human relationships? What does the title mean in terms of human relationships? Is it possible that the title was taken from Ernest Hemingway’s book A Farewell to Arms? Is it possible that the title was taken from Ernest Hemingway’s book A Farewell to Arms?

33 Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms (literary allusion) When Frederick Henry deserts from the Italian army at the conclusion of Book III, he states, “Anger washed away in the river along with any obligation.” At the opening of Book IV, Henry asserts, “I have made a separate peace.”


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