The Tree of Panic in A Separate Peace

Judy Sansom

Abstract


With the growth in popularity of young adult (YA) literature over the past few decades, novels such as John Knowles’s 1959 classic A Separate Peace deserve to be analyzed for typical YA themes, such as sexuality, identity, dysfunctional family units, and coming of age motifs. This paper evaluates A Separate Peace from a queer theory perspective while analyzing symbolic elements and themes. By examining these YA themes, teachers can offer fresh perspectives while teaching classic novels that have withstood the test of time.

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