Develop at least two thesis statements for A Separate Peace that deal with friendship and either rivalry or virtue.

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A key to a good thesis statement is that it makes an argument. Once the thesis is stated, then the paper's responsibility is to prove with evidence from the text that the thesis is true. I usually recommend a thesis that is made of two parts. The first part contains an argument that you intend to disprove or further enhance with the better argument that is the second part of the thesis statement. This two-part formula does a nice job of creating a well-rounded thesis statement. It also serves to strengthen your own argument if you can set up two basic arguments that tie together. For example:

"Although Finny is the more virtuous friend, Gene shows readers how that kind of virtue can be taken advantage of for a person's own private gain."

"Although Finny is a competitive person, his unwillingness to admit that rivalries can be quite personal ultimately leads to his downfall."

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Here are a couple more to consider:

John Knowles' classic A Separate Peace explores how rivlary affects a friendship through character actions, dialogue and narration.

This sets you up for a body paragraph about character actions (Headmasters' Tea, Blitzball, the Winter Carnival), a BP that illustrates rivalry through conversation (in 10-11 Brinker talking about Leper and beginning to dominate Finny), and a really easy one narration(Gene tells his best secrets in 1-2 and 12).

A Separate Peace demonstrates humanity's struggle with maintaining relational peace through rivalry and character virtue.

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Here are some suggestions:

John Knowles' A Separate Peace argues that humans learn more about themselves through their relationships/friendships than they do about others.

In John Knowles' A Separate Peace, characters' friendships with one another reveal each character's virtue or true self.

A Separate Peace discusses the universal truth that humans cannot remain at peace in their relationships with others until they find inner peace for themselves.

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