A Separate Peace Questions and Answers
by John Knowles

A Separate Peace book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In A Separate Peace, how would you describe Gene and Finny's relationship? Reflect on themes of friendship, human nature, and the realizations that Gene comes to in the story.

In A Separate Peace, Gene and Finny's relationship evolves over time. They begin as best friends, but eventually Gene develops feelings of resentment and jealousy towards Finny, viewing him as more of a rival. Gene's insecurities peak when he purposely makes Finny fall from a tree, shattering his leg. Their relationship is complex and co-dependent at times, but by the end of the novel, Gene sees the relationship in its true light and makes peace with himself.

Expert Answers info

Felicita Burton eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write5,346 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Through the course of the novel, the boys gain insights into their own personalities but they do not become, and cannot be, friends because honesty is missing from their relationship.

Both Gene and Finny grow as individuals as a result of Gene's reckless action. While the boys seem temporarily to grow closer after Finny falls, as Gene makes a massive effort at redeeming himself, the fact that he was responsible for Finny's injury renders him unable to be a true friend. Guilt comes to occupy a central place in his life, and he proves unable to get past the knowledge that he showed himself to be...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 862 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,117 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

stolperia eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write2,948 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial