What are two examples of irony in A Separate Peace?

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The biggest example of irony in the text is the fact that except for Gene and Leper, nobody in the text knows that Gene intentionally bounced on the limb to cause Finny to fall. This is an example of dramatic irony, or when the audience knows something that other characters in the text do not. This particular example of dramatic irony creates tension in the novel because the reader gets to see Gene’s lies and eventual guilt, both of which give insight into Gene’s true character.

Another example of irony in the novel is the Latin inscription above the First Academy Building, which roughly translates to “Here Boys Come to be Made Men.” This is an example of situational irony because the boys at Devon School don’t really become men, both literally and figuratively. Finny and Leper both die before adulthood, and Gene actually becomes less responsible during his time there.

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Although there are many examples of irony in A Separate Peace, two examples are:

1)  In many cases, Finny has power over Gene's actions.  For example, he convinces him to go to the beach, resulting in Gene failing his first test.  Gene changes his mind about enlisting because of Finny's return to school.  However, in the end, Gene's jouncing of the limb causes Gene to have a significant amount of power over what happens to Finny.  It is ironic that although Gene is jealous of Finny's abilities, it is Gene who actually has a great deal of power over what happens to Finny.

2)  In chapter 2, Finny "practically saves" Gene's life when he grabs Gene's arm when he loses his balance on the limb. This is ironic because Gene later jounces the limb, resulting in Finny's death.  The name "the Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session" is also ironic because Finny ends up dying as a result of the club's actions and Gene feels as if he has died too.

 

 

 

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