Comparison and Contrast of a Separate Peace and Catcher in the Rye

1514 Words Apr 9th, 2005 7 Pages
Comparison and Contrast Essay
A Separate Peace and The Catcher in the Rye The coming of age novels, The Catcher in the Rye, written by J.D. Salinger, and A Separate Peace, written by John Knowles, both interpret the lives of adolescent boys journeying through their conflicts and inner confusion to reach the level of maturity. Salinger and Knowles both discern the literal ways a typical teenager grows up with the help of literary elements such as plot, setting, character development, conflicts, irony, symobolism, theme, and point of view. In both of the novels, the setting is taken place in an all boys' school. The all boys' school in A Separate Peace was named Devon High School, located in New Hampshire and the school in The Catcher
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While this continues, Finny encounters another accident from the confession of the first accident and breaks his leg again. As a result, Finny dies through a surgery from his injury and Gene puts himself in a situation of guilt because if he didn't break Finny's leg the first time, it wouldn't have caused the death of Finny. In A Separate Peace, Gene expresses himself of fault with the quote, "I did not cry then or ever about Finny. I did not cry even when I stood watching him being lowered into his family's strait-laced burial ground outside of Boston. I could not escape a feeling that this was my own funeral, and you do not cry in that case."(Knowles 194). Both authors include aspects of irony in the novels. Being unsupportive to one thing and then coping with it is one of the ironies that the novels share. In A Separate Peace, Finny, Gene's best friend, totally disgraces listing into fighting in World War II; however, at the end of the novel, he matures up and confesses that the war was something that he coveted and wanted to be a part of. Similarly, in the same content, Holden clearly shows his being unsupportive about school when he is kicked out of Pencey Prep because of failing four classes; but, at the end of the novel, he resolves this issue and agrees to actually apply himself to the other school that he will be enrolled in. This irony fits in with how achieving maturity is involved. Another irony that

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