A Separate Peace uses a technique called a flashback to set the stage for the rest of the story. The location is introduced and a preview of some of the important specific places within that general location is given. The reader comes to realize that important events took place at these locations, events that the narrator has thought about deeply as he has remembered and analyzed the meaning of his time at the school. However, the introduction gives no specific explanation about what transpired in those places. The story of those events unfolds during the rest of the novel, as the action goes back in time to the days when the narrator is not an adult returning to his high school but has gone back to being a student.