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Can this Thesis statement  on A Separate Peace be rephrased to be more impactful?My...

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port13 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 17, 2012 at 5:28 AM via web

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Can this Thesis statement  on A Separate Peace be rephrased to be more impactful?

My Statement is: John Knowles uses the death of Phineas, Gene's justification of causing Phineas to fall, and leper's ultimate insanity to show that dwelling in a state of naivety can destroy and individual.

Does "to show that it is impossible to live a successful life in a state of naivety" sound better?

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lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted January 17, 2012 at 5:50 AM (Answer #1)

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I'm wondering if you should refocus your thesis just a bit.  Would it be possible to focus more on Gene and Phineas and their complicated relationship?  Modern day psychologists would probably refer to them as co-dependent, and at the very least, it probably isn't the healthiest of friendships, entangled as it is in envy (Gene's) and lost dreams (Finny's).  I think there was certainly plenty of naivete to go around during that time period, and Knowles certainly communicated that through his characters.  I would contend that their friendship ultimately destroyed them both--Finny's injury and reinjury were directly and indirectly caused by Gene's action at the tree that day--and that action can be traced back to a complicated relationship which might easily be blamed on Gene's envy, but in which Finny might not be as innocent as first appears. 

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