Understanding A Separate Peace: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents

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Greenwood Press, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 204 pages
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Since its publication in 1959, " A Separate Peace" has acquired the reputation of a minor classic of American literature. This insightful analysis helps young readers relate to the themes of disillusionment, guilt and betrayal, and the fear of failure and intergenerational conflicts experienced by the teenaged characters in the novel. This casebook also situates "A Separate Peace" against the backdrop of World War II, enabling students to see the connections between the fictional world of the novel and the real World as it existed for young people. Moving well beyond a standard literary treatment, this interdisciplinary casebook provides a collection of historical primary documents drawn from official records, War Department orders, institutional histories, personal memoirs and letters, and poignant interviews.

With commentary by Knowles himself, the casebook takes readers from the prep school setting of the novel to the impact of wartime on American students and their schools. You're in the Army Now explores the difficult transitions through induction and military training. The Combat Zone graphically confronts the realities of war with interviews of two former P.O.W.'s who experienced firsthand the terrors and tragedies of WWII. The volume also examines some of the contemporary issues of the novel including current controversies in athletic programs, gender issues in education, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Teachers and librarians will find helpful suggestions for oral discussion, research projects, and further suggested readings on these important topics.

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A Novel
The Preparatory School as Setting
John Knowles My Separate Peace 1985

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About the author (2002)

HALLMAN BELL BRYANT is a Professor of English at Clemson University where he teaches American and British Literature of the Victorian period. He is the author of A Separate Peace: The War Within (1990).

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