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A Separate Peace

Page history last edited by Bing Miller 8 years, 6 months ago

A Separate Peace


Set during the height of World War II, John Knowles' novel tells the story of two friends at a private boarding school in New England. Gene Forrester, the narrator, looks back on his high school days, reflecting on his guilt and pain from a traumatic experience involving a close friend. Students pursuing the honors option will compare A Separate Peace to The Kite Runner, a novel that explores many of the same themes. Both novels explore many of the same themes of jealousy, redemption, guilt, and friendship. Some of the essential questions for this unit include:


  • What causes jealousy between friends?
  • How should we deal with guilt? Is redemption possible?
  • Does competition bring out the best or worst in people?
  • In order to survive, do we need to accept the reality of evil in the human heart & in the world?


To help us see a different view of the central struggle in A Separate Peace, consider this Cherokee legend of the two wolves:


From the video, traits associated with the bad wolf - Anger, Envy, Self-pity, Sorrow, Regret, Guilt, Denial, Resentment, Inferiority, False pride, Superiority, Selfishness, Arrogance


Traits associated with the good wolf - Friendly, Joyful, Peace, Love, Hope, Serenity, Humility, Kindness, Benevolence, Justice, Fairness, Empathy, Generosity, True, Compassion, Gratitude, Deep Vision.


Essay assignment connected to the unit: A Separate Peace essay.pdf


Slate article about the novel's 50th anniversary http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/the_dilettante/2009/12/the_secret_of_a_separate_peace.html#p2


NPR blurb on the novel http://www.npr.org/blogs/talk/2010/01/a_separate_piece_of_a_separate.html



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