I like the symbolismof the two rivers that run through Devon's campus. One, the Devon River, is a body of fresh water; it symbolizes the youthful innocence of the boys on campus as they gather for school in those days before they have to become part of a world war. The other, the Naguamsett River, is more like a salt-water swamp. This water has been muddied and is murky and undrinkable. Symbolically, this is the picture of the ugliness of experience and death and war and the other realities of life the boys at Devon School have to face. Both rivers are part of the Devon experience in A Separate Peace.
How about these examples from Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 when Finny and Gene go to the beach:
"The ocean.... was winter cold."
"[Dawn] began not as the gorgeous fanfare over the ocean I had expected, but as a strange gray thing, like sunshine seen through burlap."
"Very gradually, like one instrument after another being tentatively rehearsed, beacons of colour began to pierce the sky."
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