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A Separate Peace

by John Knowles

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Explain the classical allusions found in chapter 1? (Example: Tess of the d'Urbervilles; Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree etc....pg20)

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The allusions you ask about aren't on page twenty of my edition of the novel, so I can't give you the context of the allusions.  I'll leave that to other editors.

I can explain the Tess allusion, though,

Tess is the modern, tragic protagonist in a novel by Thomas Hardy.  Some might consider it a Victorian novel, and it is from the Victorian time period.  But it's modern in numerous ways.  The allusion isn't classical, though, in the sense that the reference goes back to ancient Greece or Rome--it doesn't.  It's from the latter years of the 19th century.

Tess is a victim of a patriarchal society, and is used and abused by men and condemned by society's views of women.  She is a powerless victim of forces beyond her control. 

Some might consider the allusion to be to a classic, but again, it's not classical.

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