In John Knowles’ novel, A Separate Peace, the main character, Gene Forrester, undergoes a traumatic journey to develop the aspects necessary for coping through adulthood. This novel is a flashback to the year of 1942, when Gene attends his final year at Devon High School, in New Hampshire. Although Gene appears to be Finny’s best friend, he follows in Finny’s steps so that his personality clones to be like Finny’s. Finny exposes new experiences that provoke Gene’s development into adulthood. As Gene engages in new experiences, he soon realizes that he envies Finny’s abilities.
In the novel A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Gene returns to his school when he is an adult and narrates the story of his life at Devon school. When he returns to school he remembers the tree that is the reason Finny’s leg gets broken, and the hard marble stairs. Gene is a charismatic and talented in sports, while Gene is book smart. Beccause Gene is not better at sports than Finny he feels the need to compete with him at everything.
Theme 1.1: Envy. In Knowles’s coming of age book, “A Separate Peace”, there are lots of mishaps that happen and the beginning of these mishaps is when one of his main characters, Gene, starts thinking malicious things about Phineas, his friend. It started out as a small inkling of envy, suddenly later on in the book, it turned into something that resembled a fractious disaster. As the chapters progress, Gene shows the readers his way of thinking towards Phineas, by describing his “unexpected excitement” (27) when Phineas was about to receive a scolding from Mr. Patch-Wither, the substitute headmaster of Devon during the summer session. Surprisingly, when Phineas (aka Finny) further explained why he wore the school tie as a belt,
The book A Separate Peace is written by John Knowles, he published this book in 1959. John Knowles is a graduate of Phillips Exeter and Yale, he wrote seven novels, a book on travel, and a collection of short stories. He was a recipient of the William Institute Award of Arts and Letters. The story is about a boy named Gene Forrester going back to his old high school 15 years later and having flashbacks on some of his high school memories during World War 11. He tells some of the good and the bad times he had during that time in his life.
A Separate Peace begins when Gene Forrester returns to Devon boarding school, the school in which he attended during world war two. It had been fifteen years since he had been there. Walking through the campus Gene remembers his time spent there. The one he remembered a lot was the summer session in '42 when he was 16.
3.A Separate Peace starts off with our main character and narrator, Gene Forrester, revisiting his prep school fifteen years after he left it. Gene explores the area, but mostly seems interested in a tree, that if a very important object throughout the entirety of the book. Half way through the first chapter, we begin to see why the tree is so important when Phineas and Gene jump off of it. The reader soon learns that Finny (Phineas) and Gene are roommates and best friends, who have even made a club known as Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session. As the story progresses, Finny and Gene are steadily becoming closer friends, though secretly, Gene is starting to feel a deep rivarly towards Finny.
In the book a Separate Peace, I think that the title stands for freedom or an outcast cause of the way that the war does not seem to affect Devon like it affects other places in America. The war does not seem to touch Devon or the kids until Leper goes crazy after enlisting, and Finny dies. But before that Gene and Finny don't believe that the war is real they think that it is fake and just a way to get money. So A Separate Peace is meant to mean that Devon is like in the shadows of the war, so while the kids are in Devon they don't feel any sense of the war. It also makes the war seem so easy, but as we find out after Leper goes AWALL Gene and Finny actually finds out that the war is real.
Strength develops in someone through their experiences which have the ability to make them an emotionally stronger person. A quote by Ernest Hemingway presents that “the world breaks everyone, then some become strong at the broken places.” Even those who suffer the most will have the ability to bounce back at a stronger state. This theme reveals its relevance in A Separate Peace by John Knowles as we analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the main characters, Finny and Gene. Although some may insist that Finny’s emotional state fits the mold of a weak character, I have confidence that Finny has the most inner strength out of the two boys given his description and actions throughout the novel.
Finny playfully criticizes Gene 's clothing and is grateful for the lack of cleaning service. Gene replies that it is not a big loss considering the war, and he is Finny 's bed for him. The next day, Brinker will explode, wondering if Gene is ready to recruit, when he sees Finny. He starts making a joke on Gene 's "plane" - to kill Finny and get the room to himself - but Gene interrupts him and tells Finny about Brinker 's proposal to sign up. Finny 's harmless reaction leads Gene to realize that Finny does not want him to leave.
Every person has a shred of evil in them, even if they don’t know it. Studies show that humans are the only truly evil species; we act selfishly, and put others through emotional and physical torment to benefit ourselves. No matter how highly you think of yourself, you can admit that at least once in your life you may have manipulated someone to do what you wanted or even purposely hurting someone else. Regardless of who you are, or who you pretend to be; every person acts inhumane to others.
Within the pages of A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, the main character Gene goes through a multitude of changes; in his life and in his being. Living at Devon, an all-boys private school in scenic New England, gives his changes even less room to grow and adapt in such a secluded environment. At the center of these dramatic changes is his relationship with his closest friend Finny. A tipping point in this relationship is when Gene makes the decision to “jounce the limb” of the tree he and Finny are standing on, causing Finny to fall and cripple himself.