Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on December 14, 2001 · Page 62
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 62

Indiana, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Friday, December 14, 2001
Page 62
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40—Intfianc Gazette, Indiana, Pa.,_NiE"5uppieriient, Tuescfoy," March"28,1995 --' He seems to love his sister. Carl has time to tamper with the gun anytime throughout the play, since he is on the stage some of the time. Heidi hates Melanie, because she tried out for Melissa's part, only to be beaten by Melanie. She wants revenge on both Melanie and Susan. She also had a crush on Clyde, so she might have wanted Rindy out of the way. Heidi takes some bullets from the box that Susan accidentally spills, after fighting over tickets with Susan. Tracy plays Mary in the play. She cannot stand Rindy, because she feels that Rindy is responsible for hurting Clyde. Tracy is Clyde's sister. She is also very cool toward everyone; Except Marc, and especially toward Susan. Her character, Mary, also dislikes Ronda because she is jealous of Ronda's riches and beauty. Captain Michael Crossner is in charge of this case. He contacts the coroner who has found Melanie's fingerprints on the bullet shell that contained the bullet that kills Rindy. Any other evidence is vague and cannot be counted on. Captain Crasser is an understanding man who realizes the terror and grief that Melanie is going through, from both the divorce and the murder. Captain Grosser has been through a divorce, and has seen this sort of conviction happen to other teen-agers who seem innocent but really aren't. •• •' ; Everyone had access to the bullet or gun that kills Rindy at some point of time in the book. Even though Melanie's prints are on the bullet, she's not guilty until proven guilty. There is also a list of possible suspects — the characters described above. Captain Grosser must find who did it before more people end up six feet under. No one can be trusted. This book will leave you spellbound and turning to the next page as the characters turn around to find out who killed Rindy and Ronda. MARK KRASZEWSK! BOOK REVIEW FIRST PLACE INDIANA GRADE 9 John Knowles' riveting novel, "A Separate Peace" (Bantam Books, 1 96 pages), entices even the literal page turner to contemplate the philosophical. In this thought-provoking work, Knowles jostles his readers into an awareness of the good : and evil that battle not only in'his novel's narrator, Gene Forrester, but in all hurrian- kind. Knowles' work is a parable. With the religious symbols of a crucifixion and a baptism, this skillful novelist underscores the meaning of sacrifice in the haunting death of a pink shirted innocent, whom he names Rnny. Adopting the reflective flashback as his point of view, Knowles provides the proper vehicle to carry his narrator from a sinful, arrogant childhood into a wise, mature adulthood. The novel opens in the 1950s with Gene Forrester's return to Devon School, where he had been a student 15 years before during World War II. This private boys' school, seemingly a haven from the ravages of war — a separate peace — holds a horror as dark and bloody as war itself. With the passage of 15 years and the world's movement from war to peace, Gene reflects on a tortuous summer of his adolescence — the dark summer when as a lonely, introverted intellectual, he acted on his jealousy, jounced a tree : branch that sent his best friend crashing to the ground, and plunged himself from innocence. In his fall, he brought about the death of Finny, whose innate goodness contrasts starkly with Gene's sinfulness. In this beautifully written work, Knowles constructs a parable of the dark forces that brood over life. He writes a garden tale wherein Devon School in that wondrous summer of the war years is Eden. Like Eden, Devon holds a symbolic tree that functions both as the Tree of Knowledge and the crucifix of redemption. Knowies. fuses the figurative crucifixion of Finny with the subsequent wearing of his pink shirt to give his protagonist, Gene, valuable knowledge which aids his passage through adolescence! ., ." ...-..- • Knowles uses the tree with its branches, trunk, and roots not only to link heaven, earth, but also to bond the sinful personality of Gene with the sinless personality of Phineas, the only, two boys at Devon to jump from the tree. Holding the good of Phineas and the evil of Gene, this tree becomes the biblical Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. As Gene jounces the limb and commits his first major, intentional sin, he realizes the consequences of his act and gains a knowledge of good and evil. The tree contains further symbolic significance. Its trunk is a vertical line which connects the three worlds of heaven, earth and hell. Pinny's sacrifice takes place from a branch, the horizontal line of the tree. The horizontal on the vertical forms a cross. This cross exhibits Finny as a Christ figure. Later in the novel when Gene wears Finny's pink shirt, he recognizes the significance of the sacrifice. Pink is created by blending red and white. Gene realizes that his innocence, represented by the white, has been altered by the sacrificial blood of Finny, represented by the red. By placing Finny's shirt on his body, Gene allows Finny to become a part of him and performs a rite of redemption. In essence, he becomes the high priest of Phineas' peace. Using the tree and the pink shirt as religious images, Knowles enables his readers to observe Gene as he gains knowledge of good and eviland evolves into a spiritual adult, John Knowies combines the tree and the pink shirt with yet a third image, the Devon River, to manifest Gene's spiritual transformation. Committing his first intentional sin, Gene jounces Finny from the limb and watches him land.on,.the earth; clumsily ; with ;aq.""unnatural thud" (52).cComment- ingoriJthis, Gene "reflects; "With unthinking sureness I moved out on the limb and jumped into the river, every trace of my fear of this forgotten" (52). The. "this," referring to the sin he commits, shows that Gene undergoes a baptism to wash away his sin. By submerging himself into the Devon River, Gene abandons his old, o pvmRMAcv §i 'OOQOOOOO ooooooooooo oo 000 oo o ' S 4 / / / / / / I / I • I I ) * SENIOR X>\scollrJT VSR WWE HEEDS: -{(soap # HAIR -if MfcOAfcftL ZCTEMS, ETC. AtVO Pi-EASAMT SERVICE II I > -3b .tr o AT.

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