Literary Fiction Classics Summary: Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete.
Summary Analysis Gene Forrester, a man in his mid thirties, describes his return visit to the private prep school he attended, the Devon School, in New Hampshire fifteen years earlier. There are two important places that Gene most wants to see.
First he visits the "First Academy Building," one of the school's main buildings. Once inside, he feels older, taller, and more secure than he did as a student. Gene's return to his prep school allows him to confront his adolescent past from a grown-up perspective. Active Themes As Gene looks around the building, he observes that it looks almost exactly the same as it used to.
He observes that because it hasn't changed in years, the Devon School allows past and present to mingle harmoniously. Gene sees the Devon School's continuity as providing a harmonious relation with the past. The implication is that he doesn't feel that same harmony.
Active Themes Gene's next important stop is a tree by a river. The tree still has a branch hanging over the river, but it looks smaller to him than it used to.
Gene thinks to himself: He finds this comforting, and describes himself "changed. The difference in his perception shows him how much he's changed, and seems to free him from a past that haunted him.
Gene refers to it as his "sarcastic" summer. As the world went to war, sarcasm, a classic teenage tool, became a way for Gene to deny his fear of the war.
Gene stands near a giant tree by a river with his best friend, Phineas "Finny"and three friends: Finny is about to jump from the tree branch hanging near the river, a physical test no boy his age has ever attempted. It's part of the fitness test that seniors at Devon have to pass before graduating.
Finny refers to the jump as his "contribution to the war effort. Finny is also clearly the leader of the group. His comment about the "war effort" is not sarcastic; he conceives of war as just another game. Active Themes Finny climbs the tree and jumps. He climbs the tree. Though he's terrified, thinks jumping is stupid, and wonders if Finny may have gotten "some kind of hold" on him, Gene jumps.
The other boys all refuse to jump. Finny tells Gene, "It's me and you, pal. Finny, meanwhile, thinks they're just friends.
Active Themes As the five boys walk back to dinner, Finny says that Gene did well after being "shamed" into it, and then makes fun of Gene for being so careful to arrive at dinner on time.
They wrestle, and end up so late for dinner they decide to skip it. They go to their dorm room, do their homework, and go to sleep.Set at a boys’ boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of 3/5().
The audience never gets to see Gene tell Finny that he would be awful in war, allowing the audience to realize he was the sole beacon of peace during World War II at Devon. That conversation could have let viewers in on Finny's personality, but unfortunately it does not happen.
A Separate Peace by John Knowle A Separate Peace review, A Separate Piece Steppenwolf review, Alan Wilder, Chance Bone, Curtis M. Jackson, Damir Konjicija, Govind Kumar, Jake Cohen, John Knowles, Jonathan Berry, Nancy Gilsenan, Will Allan.
Category: Reviews. A Separate Peace Study Guide Final Free Practice Test Instructions Choose your answer to the question and click 'Continue' to see how you did.
Then click 'Next Question' to answer the next question. Get the entire A Separate Peace LitChart as a printable PDF. "My students can't get enough of your charts and their results have gone through the roof." -Graham S.
In the middle of World War II, Gene and Phineas are coming into their last year of high school. Roommates, away at boarding school, they find themselves growing closer over the summer session.