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history A Seperate Peace

     Nathan Gourley
Pd2
4/25/00


     




In John Knowles book A Separate Peace he communicates how the war in him was taking its toll on him. He uses the characters in a complicated plot to show the destructive forces of war. The characters, Gene and Finny, are the opposing forces in a struggle between the reality of war (World War II) and a separate peace. A peace away from the real war and the awful things that come from it. Through their relationship, which is a struggle on both sides, Knowles establishes the reality of war through a relationship.
     Gene Forrestor is established as the force of reality. This idea is established clearly in a speech Gene gives as the narrator of the story.
     "Everyone has a moment in history which belongs particularly to him. It is the moment when his emotions achieve their most powerful sway over him, and afterward when you say to this person " the world today" or "life" or "reality" he will assume that you mean this moment, even if it is fifty years past. The world, through his unleashed emotions, imprinted itself upon him and he carries the stamp of that passing moment forever." (Knowles, 32)
     This statement explains that Gene must have something that is his "stamp". This stamp defines an individual standing up for something he believes in. The next paragraph shows that this is true where Gene continues, "For me, this moment-four years is a moment in history-war the war. The war was and is reality for me. I still live and think in its atmosphere." (Knowles, 32) Later in the same paragraph he goes on to say:
"America is not, never has been, and never will be what the songs and poems call it, a land of plenty. Nylon, meat, gasoline, and steel are rare. There are too many jobs and not enough workers. Money is very easy to earn but rather hard to spend, because there isn't very much to buy. The war will always be fought very far away from America and it will never end. Nothing in America stands still for very long, including the people, who are always either leaving or on leave." (Knowles, 32)
This is what Gene stands for in the book A Separate Peace. Gene appears to understand the reality of war and how it affects people. Throughout the entire story Gene is used to bring the destructive reality of war into everyday life at Devon High School where there is an attempt to create and exist in a separate peace.
There is a reality known by Gene that is headed by Gene's best friend, Finny. Finny has his own reality that he creates and exists in is the separate peace spoken of earlier.
Finny who is a very athletic person, begins to create this separate peace with games. Because Finny can't face the reality of the real war, these games are a representation of the war. Finny makes the rules so that he can exist in these games as an invincible force. The first game Finny invents is "The Super Suicide of the Summer Session." This game consists of jumping of the limb of a tree into the river by Devon. As the game is invented, both Finny and Gene, agree to start it by being the first ones to jump out of the tree into a river. One time Finny allows Gene to jump out first. This is the start of a separate peace.
"We were standing on a limb, I a little farther out than Finny. I turned to say something else, some stalling remark, something to delay even a few seconds more, and then I realized that in turning I had begun to lose my balance There was a moment of total, impersonal panic, and then Finny's hand shot out and grabbed my arm, and with my balance restored, the panic immediately disappeared." (Knowles, 24)
     In this instance Finny saves Gene from falling out of Finny's world and into Gene's reality. The idea of Gene understanding that this is Finny's world comes in chapter three.
     "Yes, he had practically saved my life. He had also practically lost it for me. I wouldn't of been on that d#%* limb except for him. I wouldn't ... more

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Atomic Bomb 2

The Manhattan Project

     The Manhattan Project was and is still one of the most secretive projects ever created in United States history. The purpose of the Manhattan Project was simple: to build; test; and unleash its power if necessary. Robert Oppenheimer and General Leslie Groves were the two men put in charge of this mission. These two men along with the top scientists from around the country were brought together to construct the most deadliest thing known to man.
     The project originated in the Pentagon in 1942 when General Groves was told, by the White House, he was to lead the Manhattan Project. World War II had already been raged for three years when the Nazis, after being victorious in Europe, declared war on the United States. This was nine months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In September of that year, Groves, met with Leo Szilard and asked him if making the atomic bomb was possible. Leo told him how an atomic bomb would work, but also that it is impossible to build. General Groves only wanted to hear that an atomic bomb was conceivable in theory and then he knew to start the project.
     In October of 1942 Groves went to California to meet with Robert Oppenheimer, one of the most brilliant scientists in the country. Groves informed Oppenheimer that he had been selected to lead the expedition on trying to invent the atomic bomb. Oppenheimer immediately started preparing by telling Groves that they needed an isolated area with one ringmaster(Oppenheimer).
     General Groves was in charge of the military or security part of the project, while Oppenheimer was in charge of the organization of the scientists and ideas. At times, Oppenhiemer and Grooves had some nasty arguments over policies. Even though Groves was the one who reported to Washington, Oppenheimer had more power and Groves was aware of this. If they had a disagreement, Oppenheimer would threaten to leave the project and take his scientists with him. Groves knew if this occurred then the project would never be finished. So, Grooves most always ended up agreeing or letting Oppenheimer do what ever he wanted to do.
     In April of 1943, this isolated area was being build in Las Alamos, New Mexico. The borders consisted of barbed wire fence accompanied by guard dogs. Many laboratories, storage buildings, shelters, hospitals, dining halls, and other buildings were found inside these borders, also. One thing that was not found inside these borders though was women, not even wives of the scientists. No scientist was allowed to talk to anyone outside the camp about what they see, hear, taste, or even smell. Everything they knew belonged to the army now. Everything they knew from here on was highly confidential. There job was to create the atomic bomb and to do nothing else but that. They were to refer to bomb as the gadget or devise for security reasons. The scientists were given 19 months to complete their mission. Most of them complained that it could not be done, that it was not enough time.
     Under the leadership of Oppenheimer the work and research began. After several days, their work got them no where. They were faced with the problems such as weight, velocity, and detonation. To make such a bomb they needed materials heaving enough to weight tip the biggest cranes in the world. Late one night, while eating an orange and talking to another scientist, Seth Neddermeyer (a scientist) thought of an idea called implosion. He got the idea from the orange he was eating. This was probably the one idea that the atomic bomb is centered around. Without implosion, the atomic bomb could not be created. When he squeezed the orange, juice squirted out or an outwards explosion. If you can reverse this process, then the explosion goes in creating a even bigger force. This theory applies to Plutonium. Implosion occurs causing a chain reaction which in return causes an outwards explosion. If an inwards explosion occurred the Plutonium atoms would split apart creating the biggest explosion known to man. The problem was now creating an inward explosion.
     By this time, turmoil started to arise inside the camp. Many scientists began complaining about the drastic security measures ... more

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