In A Separate Peace, what are five examples of how weather conditions create a mood?

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lffinj eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In A Separate Peace, John Knowles uses a significant number of weather references to help set the mood.

Some examples include:

Chapter 1:  When Gene returns to Devon the weather is dark and bleak.

"It was such a gray and misty day that I could not see the other side of the river, where there was a small stadium."

"With nothing to block it the wind flung wet gusts at me; at any other time I would have felt like a fool slogging through mud and rain, only to look at a tree.  A little fog hung over the river so that as I neared it I felt myself becoming isolated...The wind was blowing more steadily here, and I was beginning to feel cold."

Chapter 3:  On a beautiful day, Gene and Finny go to the beach in the late afternoon.

"This kind of sunshine and ocean, with the accumulating roar of he surf and the salty, adventurous, flirting wind from the sea, always intoxicated Phineas."

Chapter 4:  Right before the disagreement between Gene and Finny about studying for the French exam and ultimately, Finny's fall from the tree, the mood is one of renewal, as described by the return of spring.

"August arrived with a deepening of all the summertime splendors of New Hampshire.  Early in the month we had two days of light, steady rain which aroused a final fullness everywhere."

"There was a latent freshness in the air, as though spring were returning in the middle of summer."

Chapter 6:  This introduces the Winter Session at Devon.

"Fall had barely touched the full splendor of the trees, and during the height of the day the sun briefly regained its summertime power.  In the air there was only an edge of coolness to imply the coming winter."

Chapter 7:  This is the snowfall that has the Devon students shoveling the railroads and Leper "touring" in the snow.

"The following weekend, however, it snowed again, then two days later much harder, and by the end of that week the ground had been clamped under snow for the winter."

Whether it is freezing weather or afternoon sunshine, John Knowles effectively uses various weather descriptors to help the reader understand the ever-changing mood of A Separate Peace.


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A Separate Peace

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