A Separate Peace Questions and Answers
by John Knowles

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What is the real meaning of the saying "a separate peace"?

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Knowles alludes to Ernest Hemingway with the term a 'separate peace' . Hemingway, in several places, wrote of characters trying to escape from the larger society and build their own worlds, places separate from World War I.

For example, Frederick Henry says in A Farewelll to Arms:

I had the paper but I did not read it because I did not want to read about the war. I was going to forget the war. I had made a separate peace.

At this point, in chapter 34, feeling strange in his civilian clothes, Henry finds Catherine and two decide to go to Switzerland together. Henry also says:

If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and very brave impartially.

Catherine is the very brave, good, and gentle person with whom Henry tries to establish a separate peace, away from...

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