A Separate Peace by John Knowles

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What is the plot in the book "The Separate Peace"? Plot Structure First is the Conflict: A problem Then Rising Action: The suspense or thrill that leads to the climax Then Climax:The high point, a moment...

What is the plot in the book "The Separate Peace"?

Plot Structure

First is the Conflict: A problem

Then Rising Action: The suspense or thrill that leads to the climax

Then Climax: The high point, a moment most intense, a turning point, a major culmination of events.

Then Falling Action: The falling action is the part of a story following the climax and shows the effects of the climax

And Last Resolution: The part of the story in which the problem of the story is resolved or worked out.

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Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I agree with the first responder that reading the book is necessary for you to understand how these elements of plot contribute to the story. Having said that, I will offer a few more ideas on this particular story, and then talk about how these terms apply to a story you probably are familiar with, so you have a better understanding of the terms. 

In my opinion, the climax of the story occurs with Finney's death.  Everything that has happened thus far in the book results in what happens to him.  The falling action is everything from the death of Finney to the end of the novel, and oddly enough, to the beginning of the novel, too.  Since the novel begins in the present and then moves back, the falling off of the action is really part of the beginning.

I am not convinced there is a resolution to this story insofar as plot is concerned.  As a reader, I am able to resolve the story through my interpretation of Gene's character.  But as the narrator coming back to think again about the events at the school, I do not think Gene is able to resolve anything for himself because of his essential inability to have sufficient insight into his thoughts and feelings. 

If you look at the story of "Cinderella," perhaps it will be easier for you to see what these terms mean.  In this story, what is Cinderella's problem?  She is ill-treated by her step-mother and step-sisters.  She longs for romance and a social life!  What is the rising action in the story?  The rising action is the period from the introduction of her problem to her attendance at the...

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MaudlinStreet eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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