Thematic Motifs in The Emperor's Club and A Separate Peace- Novel/Film Comparison

Essay by wigwamJunior High, 8th grade February 2005

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The movie The Emperor's Club and the novel A Separate Peace share many of the same thematic motifs. Two of these themes are rivalry and forgiveness. The ways they are presented in the novel and movie have similarities and differences.

Rivalry and competition is a theme included in The Emperor's Club and A Separate Peace. In the novel, Gene competes against Finny to be "better". Gene states that there is only competition in sports, although Finny is a natural athlete and more talented than Gene at sports. Gene tries to make up for his lack of natural athleticism by getting better grades than Finny and studying more. Gene gets so caught up in the rivalry that he injures Finny by pushing him out of a tree, which ruins Finny's chances of ever playing sports again. The theme of rivalry is presented in The Emperor's Club in much the same way as shown in the novel.

At the boys' school, they all compete against each other to make the best grades and be the smartest. Three of the boys, Deepak, Massoudi, and Sedgewick, go against each other in the Julius Caesar contest to see who has the most knowledge of history. Sedgewick decides to cheat because he is under a lot of pressure and wants to win the Julius Caesarcompetition. How the theme is shown is similar in the novel and movie because they both deal with rivalries among friends and peers and with grades. The difference is that in A Separate Peace the rivalry is one sided because Finny does not feel like he is competing against Gene and only wants to help him. The messages are also alike: rivalries push people to do better, but they can also cause people to do irrational things because of the...