A Separate Peace essay

Within A Separate Peace and The Dead Poets Society, there lie many parallels. First, within these two pieces there is a similar theme-ones transition into adulthood. In A Separate Peace, the transitions began when the characters found themselves faced with the war. For example, Gene was confronted with choosing between the safety and security of the school, or to face the horrors, confusions of the war. The war began transitions because as one enters a war, their innocence is lost, and replaced with the brutal reality of adulthood. In A Dead Poet’s Society, this transition occurred when the students were taught ‘Carpe Diem’. This taught the boys to seize each day by their teacher, Mr. Keating. No matter the outcome, good or bad, the ones who determined their future would be the boys themselves. Thus, their transition into adulthood was dependant upon themselves.

Second, within A Separate Peace and the Dead Poet’s Society many roles, which the characters played, were similar. In each, there was a character that brought joy and energy to those around him. In this case, it was Neil and Mr. Keating in The Dead Poet’s Society and Finny in A Separate Peace. These characters had a special quality inside of them; they brought energy and joy to those around them even in the most difficult times. They also possessed many similar characteristics. One was that they were both not afraid to go against the rules. For example, Finny would skip class to have fun, and also go against the rules of the school in many of his actions. Neil also took chances when he signed up for Puck’s role against his father’s decision. Yet in the end, sadly these joyful characters both faced death, as the pain of accepting the burden of confusions and responsibility of adulthood grew heavy. Mr. Keating went against the strict formality of the school, and taught the students with his own free ways. Although he did not face death, he was forced to give up his job and had to leave the school. In addition to the characters Finny and Neil, there was a character in both pieces that was very introverted-Gene and Todd. Both these characters obeyed the strict rules of their school, and both needed someone else to bring them to recognize their true self. Near the end of both stories, both these characters were burdened with guilt because each made a negative impact on another’s life. For example, Gene jounced Finny off then tree, and Todd named Mr. Keating responsible for Neil’s death.

Last, is that within both stories, the settings were similar. Both stories were based during the post-war times. Also, both are set at boarding schools-Welton and Devon. Each of these private schools is bound by their strict rules and formality. Each is depicted to be wondrous from the outside, yet the inside is gloomy. Also the setting of each is focused in the winter, where the main events happen. In A Dead Poet’s Society, that was when the play and Neil’s death occurred; in A Separate Peace, that was when the winter carnival took place, the time in which the Devon boys captured their separate peace.

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