Theme Of Identity In The Novel 'A Separate Peace'
This significant moment in the novel is set in Gene’s dorm, and the reader is introduced to a new character, Brinker. The author makes it significant by creating a contrast between Brinker and Gene, using various language techniques and structure. This way Knowles indicates to the reader that this is a key moment in the novel.
Firstly, Knowles creates a contrast between Brinker and Gene. He creates a contrast between their behavior and their actions. For example, this can be seen in the following “grinned confidingly” “smiled widely” and “pulled quickly” “began moving books with rapid pointlessness”. The reader gets an impression of 2 very different behaviors. Brinker is acting calm and confident, while Gene is acting anxious. Gene is acting anxious due to the accident that happened to Finny. He is afraid that other people will find out, that he did it. The word “confidingly” is an adverb that is used to describe Brinker’s smile. It reminds the reader of family or close relationships and could make the reader comfortable. The word “rapid” is an adjective used to describe Gene’s actions. It could remind the reader of a river or strong wind and could make the reader feel anxious or energized. Additionally, Knowles compares their personality and characteristics. This is demonstrated in the following “genially”, “lighthearted” and “sudden stab of disappointment”, “I didn’t care”. The reader gets the impression that Brinker is kind and charismatic while Gene is envious and unstable. Throughout the book, Gene is compared to other characters (such as Finny) to show different sides of him. The word “genially” is an adverb used to describe Brinker’s tone. It reminds the reader of a friend, making them feel pleasant and happy. Knowles also uses various words to describe the characters and their actions. This is seen in the following “genially” “accusing pose” “lighthearted” and “too strained”. Knowles uses contrasting words to express the comparison between the characters more clearly. The word “accusing” is a verb used to show Brinker’s position and also links to his characteristics. It reminds the reader of a lawyer or a courtroom and could make the reader feel powerful or vulnerable. It links to his characteristics because Brinker is interested in social sciences and acts as a lawyer, so Knowles uses words that remind the reader of a courtroom. The word “strained” is an adjective used to describe Gene’s voice. It reminds the reader of a lie or stressful situation, making them feel anxious. The word choices set a tone and create imagery in the reader’s mind. However, Knowles also shows their similarities. For example, “being too busy with politics, arrangements, and offices”, “the first test I had ever flunked” and “happened not to be athletic”, “I wanted no more of sports.”. These quotes show that both Brinker and Gene are serious about their studies and are not so athletic. This could symbolize and foreshadow a potential friendship as they have things in common. Creating a comparison makes a moment significant because it can improve comprehension and create imagery in the reader’s mind.