A Separate Peace Passage Analysis

1022 WordsMar 30, 20095 Pages
Phineas’ Personality in A Separate Peace Page 154 Start “Someone knocked me down…” End “I guess that’s good, all right.” This passage from A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, effectively spotlights Phineas’ personality and reflects the war. Gene’s narration shows how Finny’s personality allows all of kids, especially Brinker, to refrain from thinking about the war and be free from thinking of the war for a short period of time. Also, Finny successfully constructs another game in which there are no winners or losers. Consequently, the diction, sentence structure, and details used in Gene’s narration hint to the underlying theme of the war. Phineas, as shown in the passage, remains unfazed by the war and continues to reflect his innocence. Gene’s diction throughout his narration helps to reveal Finny’s personality, but also hints to the major theme of war. For example, Gene recalls,”…I bent cheerfully over to help him up,” this shows how despite the fact that Finny had turned on Gene and later on everyone, Gene still happily helped Finny up. This reflects his personality because it is nearly impossible to become angry at Phineas, his constant fun-loving attitude, rubs off on others. Finny’s personality is also reflected in Gene’s diction when Gene says how Finny had a “steadily widening grin,” when he “was driven down beneath a blizzard of snowballs.” This exemplifies Phineas’ personality because he was at his happiest when the tables were turned against him and there would be no chance of any distinct winners or losers. This again relates back to when Gene tells Finny that “[he] wouldn’t be any good in the war, even if nothing happened to [his] leg.” Likewise, Gene’s diction also alludes many times to the war. For example, while describing the snowball fight, he uses words such as “allies, betrayed, and generalship.” This shows, that in Gene’s case, the war is

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