Analyze the theme of pacifism in A Separate Peace by John Knowles.I know that Leper would be and example for a pacifism person but what's a deeper perspective about it?

Expert Answers
tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At first, it seems like the word "pacifism" would mean that a person would be passive about the war by standing back and not engaging because of disinterest; however, it truly means that a person seriously disagrees with the war and refuses to fight. It also means that a pacifist is one who disagrees with violence of any kind. So, taking that definition and applying it to the characters in the story would help to determine who represents pacifism and who does not. For the longest time it seemed as if Finny was a pacifist because he was in complete denial that the war even existed; but in the end, he really wanted to go overseas and do his part in the war. Gene didn't enlist until he absolutely had to, but that doesn't mean he was a pacifist, just a procrastinator. And yet, Finny is the victim of a violent act which suggests that maybe we all are capable of letting jealousy or competition get to us at some point in our lives.

Read the study guide:
A Separate Peace

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question