10H – 16-24 October 2014 – Crazy week ahead

Oooops! I didn’t post yesterday. Thanks to Luci for taking the lead and just commenting on the last post. 🙂 We had our seminar over Chapters 8 & 9 yesterday. Today is a reading day for Chapters 10-13.

But now there is a CHANGE in the schedule for you to be aware of:

  • I will not be here on Tuesday or Wednesday, so rather than having a seminar those days, you will have a WRITING Day (you were scheduled to miss it because we don’t have classes on Monday). 1st Hour will meet on Tuesday and 5th hour will meet on Wednesday.
  • The Seminar for Chapters 10-13 will be on Thursday Oct 23rd.
  • On FRIDAY, we’ll do some wrap-up work with ASP as hero’s journey.
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4 thoughts on “10H – 16-24 October 2014 – Crazy week ahead

  1. 10/23/14
    1. On page 131 there is this passage:
    I accepted a hopeful interpretation. Leper had “escaped.” You didn’t escape from the army, so he must of escaped from something else. The most logical thing a soldier escapes from is danger, death, the enemy.
    To me this was almost a symbol of his view of Finny and Gene’s relationship. The army was the relationship because we bond with people when we are in jeopardy. The enemy was everything that could break his spirit or his innocence. He believed that you don’t escape a relationship because his relationship with Gene is good. So the enemy was everything keeping him away from Finny. While truly the relationship was the enemy, filled with death and danger.

    2. On page 167. where Leper is describing the branch scene, he talks about Gene and Finny being like an engine. Both are parts of the engine signifying that they are the same person but on opposite sides of each other because “first one piston sinks, and then the other one sinks.” One of them must fall for the other to rise.

    3.Then when we were talking about the stairs that Finny was falling down on page 169, we talked about how they were hard. Yet I believe their was a significance in the color of the stairs. The stairs were white. White is the color of innocence. He was falling from white or in other words he was falling from purity and/or innocence was tripping him up.

    That’s all!

    • Man, Luci! This is so sharp! I wish more kids were taking advantage of the blog option because I’d love to see what people think about your emphasis of the color of the stairs–I think that’s a really accurate reading given all the things we’ve been talking about with Finny.

  2. One of the things that stood out through my reading of A Separate Peace was the war parallel. The war seems to be a mere threat during the duration of the novel, but the literal death of Finny is what brings about the war. The isolation of the Devon School from the war intensifies the displayal of a loss of innocence and childhood n Gene as Finny dies and the war becomes more relevant. On the last paragraph of the book, Gene says, “All of them, except Phineas, constructed at infinite cost to themselves these Maginot Lines against this enemy they thought they saw across the frontier, this enemy who never attacked that way—if he ever attacked at all; if he was indeed the enemy.” The war is paralleling the internal war within Gene and his transition from childhood. Previously in the novel, Finny suggests the war is a hoax put on by adults. To transition from childhood, Gene had to face the reality of the war — which is only plausible if Finny, a representation of childhood, dies.

  3. I don’t have the book any longer to reference pages from, but I’ll do my best. Anyways, I think that there are a lot of significant things within the school and the title that help illustrate the main theme in the story. First, the school:

    The rivers. One is clean and is where Gene and Finny spend all of their free time. The other is dirty and if I remember correctly it is where Quackenbush pushed Gene into. I believe that these represent parts of the Separate Peace. The clean river is symbolic of childhood and that’s why Gene and Finny are there. The dirty river is symbolic of the war and that’s why only negative things happened there.

    The canoe scene. When Finny is standing with his arms outstretched, he becomes a sort of Christ figure. And we see that Gene is growing more independent when he says, “Feeling refreshed, I…” because after he remembers that Finny fell, he felt refreshed. This isn’t the emotion one would expect to see when a friend falls in the water. Gene’s growing independence is important and is useful in understanding the title.

    The recurring theme. The war is obviously present in each of the boy’s lives. However, they would rather stick with childhood than move on and accept the war. The main people we see eventually accept it are Phineas, Leper, and Gene. Examples are when Gene goes to shovel snow so that the soldiers can leave to go to war. When Leper actually goes to war. And when Phineas stops saying that the war doesn’t exist and admits that he has been sending letters to numerous places attempting to get drafted. This is another thing that’s important in understanding the title.

    Finally, the title. In class, we said that A Separate Peace, for example, was when A and C were enemies, but B was allied with both. I believe that Gene is B, Finny and the Devon school happenings are C, and childhood is A. All of the above points help prove this and also in general; Gene is wanting to keep being a child, and also be with Finny, but he has to chose one. And in doing so, he ends up ruining both.

    That’s about it!

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