A Separate Peace: Made Only by War
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“It seemed clear that wars were not made by generations and their stupidities, but that wars were made instead by something ignorant in the human heart” (Chapter 13, 201)
This quote is very important because it is talking about war, which is the main theme of the novel since it takes place during WWII. It is also important because it revels the growth in the main character Gene. At the beginning of the story Gene wasn’t very comfortable being himself, and he wished he was his best friend Finny, but now he knows who he is. When you know who you are, you don’t have to reflect.
It is a significant quote because he is disagreeing with the majority opinion stated by Brinker when he blames the war on past generations, “he and his crowd are responsible for it’ (page 201). It is special because Gene is showing his intelligent side by blaming it on human nature, and making it not so much his parents fault. He can tell that Brinker’s dad is disappointed he doesn’t want to fight, but he doesn’t care because he wants to stay as far from war as possible. Brinker was trying to play the blame game because it is easier to blame someone else for your own mistakes than to just take responsibility for it.
Maybe war comes from the evil inside our hearts, not saying that all of us are evil but the evil side comes out in war. I can personally relate to this because my parents are at war with each other all the time for no reason. After being divorced for eleven years you would think they would stop but they never do. They never take responsibility for their own actions and always try to blame one another. When I read this quote in my novel I automatically thought of them because it’s something they should read, learn and understand. It also has a personal effect on me when it comes to government because I love politics, but it seems like Republicans and Democrats are always blaming one another for the bad things in America. At what point do we take a step back, and try to get along?
I think there was a lot to learn from this quote, but not only this quote, from the whole book. Gene makes a great point by describing that wars go on all around the world, between street fights, a family feud, or battles of the mind with emotion that everyone must deal with. A battle of the mind is exactly what Gene is dealing with throughout the book with his feelings about his best friend Finny.