A Separate Peace by John Knowles

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Reality can be broken down and portrayed in many different ways. Unless it is caused by ecology or some other source, everything in reality happens because of somebody’s imaginative creation. In A Separate Peace by John Knowles, the environment Devon provides for Finny causes him to become non- competitive, imaginative, and rebellious. The small environment of people at Devon causes Finny to be a non-competitive athlete. At this point in the novel had just broken A. Hopkins Parker 100 yard freestyle swimming record by . 7 seconds.

No I just wanted to see if I could do it. Now I know. But I don’t want to do it in public . . . by the way . . . we aren’t going to talk about this, it’s between you and me. ” (35-36) This said by Finny shows his non-competitive personality reveled in the novel. Considering there is no real athletic ability at Devon, other than Finny; Finny does not feel the need to be competitive at all. Because of his talent and lack of talent surrounding him he knows he is better than everyone else, and everyone realizes he is better than them.

This causes him not to be egotistical and show off his skill; instead he acts as if he does not care. Finny does not like standing out as the only incredible athlete in the school, so he strives to be gregarious. The environment of people and events in a Separate Peace cause Finny to be very imaginative. Early in the novel Finny and his friends are bored and trying to think of something to play. Bobby Zane say lets think of something that has to do with the war, and he later adds the name Blitzkrieg.

Blitzkrieg means a swift, sudden military offensive, usually by combined air and mobile land forces in German. Finny takes control of the situation and say lets just call it Blitzball, and everyone agreed. Finny then lays out the rules after the game was played improperly. ” You don’t use your arms when you knock the ball carrier down . . . No. You keeps your arms crossed like this on your chest, and you just but the ball carrier. No elbowing allowed either . . . Not when you have been knocked down illegally. The ball carrier retains possession in a case like that.

So it is perfectly ok, you still have the ball. Go ahead. “(29) This situation shows finny’s imagination. Obviously there was no right way to play this game, but Finny makes the rules and guidelines to this game as it proceeds. As gene and finny’s other friends play the game he yells and instructs them on how to play. Finny acts and is the dominant creator of Bliztball, and demonstrates his imaginative mind. The surrounding environment (Devon) has certain guidelines and rules that should be followed, not broken.

At this point in the novel Gene and Finny are conversing and Finny plans on breaking the rules. ” Swimming in pools is screwy anyway … the only real swimming is in the ocean … lets go to the beach. ” (37) This said by finny shows his rebellious attitude towards his school, life, and peers. Finny knows that leaving Devon to go to the beach was forbidden. This journey risks expulsion if anyone found out. There is nothing wrong with swimming in pools, but finny has to be difficult and uses this as an excuse to go to the beach. This action demonstrated by Finny shows his yearn to rebel.

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