Make your own free website on

A Seperate Peace

Home | Author Biography | Literary Devices | Works Cited

Literary Devices

One of the most prominent literary devices used in A Separate Peace is imagery.  The Imagery helps you to visualize every aspect of the school and lets you see it through the eyes of John Knowles.
"I went back to the Devon School not long ago, and found it looking oddly newer than when I was a student there fifteen years before.  It seemed more sedate than I remembered it, more perpendicular and strait-laced, with narrower windows and shinier woodwork, as though a coat of varnish had been put over everything for better preservation."  (Knowles 1)
The imagery in the first paragraph starts to develop the image of the school right from the start and more detail is added as the novel progresses.

Other literary devices used commonly in A Separate Peace are metaphors and similes.
"But of course, fifteen years before there had been a war going on.  Perhaps the school wasn't as well kept up in those days; perhaps varnish, along with everything else had gone to war." (Knowles 1)
This metaphor helps to describe the image of the school further and how it used to look during the war.  This could also be an example of personification.

"There was a swift chain of explosions in my brain, one certainty after another blasted—up like a detonation went the idea of any best friend, up went affection and partnership and sticking by someone and relying on someone absolutely in the jungle of a boys’ school, up went the hope that there was anyone in this school—in this world—whom I could trust." (Knowles 44,45)

This is another metaphor used to symbolize the uncertainty facing the main character, Gene Forrester, at this point in his life.


A Seperate Peace - Culminating Task - Mrs. Clancy - ENG3UI