Questions and Answers for A Separate Peace

A Separate Peace

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...

Latest answer posted March 10, 2020 2:10 am UTC

3 educator answers

A Separate Peace

The tree is the central symbol in the novel. It represents the enormous fear in which Gene lived at school, from the summer of 1942 until the spring of 1943. When he was a student at Devon, the...

Latest answer posted February 17, 2009 2:23 pm UTC

3 educator answers

A Separate Peace

The two rivers in the book are described in symbolic ways. The Devon School sits between two rivers, the Devon and the the Naguamsett. The Devon is described as a place of fun, and it is the river...

Latest answer posted September 18, 2017 10:31 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

We can read this quote as relating primarily to Gene's relationship to Finny in A Separate Peace. This relationship is central to the story of the novel and is also at the root of the novel's...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2012 2:26 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

The envy Gene has for his friend and roommate Finny shows up most of the time as jealousy in A Separate Peace by John Knowles. It is true that Finny is just one of those guys that everyone knows...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2013 8:42 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Similarities: Gene and Finny are both well-liked and popular at Devon. The other boys seem to gravitate towards Finny, and Gene becomes one of the school's most popular, successful members...

Latest answer posted October 3, 2017 9:17 am UTC

3 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Gene is competitive. We see his competitive drive early on in the novel as he strives to outdo Finny in any way he can. This proves difficult in most areas as Finny is a lively, funny, charming and...

Latest answer posted August 23, 2015 5:46 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

The marble staircase is located in the First Academy Building on the campus of the Devon School. Gene describes it as having a red brick exterior, swinging doors, and a marble foyer preceding the...

Latest answer posted January 16, 2016 10:42 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Finny's character is not only competitive and athletic, but also charismatic, humble and social. He's competitive and athletic because he loves to show his strength during sports, but he is humble...

Latest answer posted May 19, 2016 6:10 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Throughout the novel, Knowles examines self-esteem issues, jealousy, and the duality of human nature. Although Gene is fascinated and drawn towards Finny, his lack of self-esteem leads to feelings...

Latest answer posted August 16, 2017 11:20 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Finny's invented game of blitzball involves a ball carrier, who has to dodge everyone attempting to knock him down as he runs toward the river or tower. Gene mentions that the odds were...

Latest answer posted August 17, 2017 11:00 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

I'm assuming you've read the novel, so my references to events will be just that--short, quick references. The frame (beginning and end) - Gene comes back to Devon school and re-examines the events...

Latest answer posted August 19, 2010 1:17 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

This comes as Gene's final reflection on his relationship with Finny and his time at Devon. His stream-of-consciousness shows his internal censorship, and his attempt to come to terms with his...

Latest answer posted August 8, 2010 2:05 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Gene does not cry at Phineas's funeral because he feels it is his own, and you don't, he says, cry at your own funeral. He experiences it as his own funeral because Finny felt like a part of...

Latest answer posted December 18, 2018 12:59 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Jealousy depends on what is perceived by one person about another and then compared to one's self at an unachievable higher standard. In a growing up story like "A Separate Peace" many characters...

Latest answer posted March 5, 2012 2:11 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

I think the best way to answer this question is to figure out what Finny's life is symbolic of. Finny is a great character, and he could symbolize so many different things. He could be symbolic of...

Latest answer posted September 29, 2018 8:42 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

I think that the significance of the summer session is best viewed symbolically in contrast to the winter session. The summer session is a much slower pace of things for the boys on the Devon...

Latest answer posted February 23, 2019 11:54 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Phineas breakes the 100 Yard Free Style record for the Devon school which had previously been set by A. Hopkins Parker in 1940 at fifty-three seconds (42). Finny shaves off .7 of a second when he...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2012 1:58 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Three factors that explain the change of mood between the summer and fall sessions are as follows: First, Gene describes himself and his Devon summer school friends as in a liminal space of "shaky...

Latest answer posted November 17, 2018 2:05 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Sports are a point of contention in Gene and Finny's relationship. Gene continually describes Finny's incredible physical prowess, in addition to naming various trophies Finny has won for his...

Latest answer posted July 29, 2010 4:35 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

The Butt Room episode in A Separate Peace exposes the conflicting feelings Gene is carrying regarding his actions at the jumping tree. As Gene fights to maintain his innocence, he is also forced to...

Latest answer posted December 27, 2011 3:58 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

The last line of A Separate Peace is as follows: All of them, all except Phineas, constructed at infinite cost to themselves these Maginot Lines against this enemy they thought they saw across the...

Latest answer posted October 2, 2018 11:35 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Gene narrates in Chapter 2 of A Separate Peace that he and the other boys have spent the summer of 1942 in "complete selfishness" as they have ignored what was happening in the European theatre of...

Latest answer posted February 13, 2013 1:21 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Since all editions have different page numbers, it might be best to give you the chapter instead. Leper’s telegram is found at the end of chapter 9. You will find it very quickly. Here are the...

Latest answer posted January 17, 2019 6:20 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

In A Separate Peace, the war symbolizes on a grander scale the same evil that drives Gene's private evil. Thus, it symbolizes a war of jealous rivalry. Shortly after he comes to Devon School, Gene...

Latest answer posted August 16, 2017 1:21 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Based upon Phillips Exeter School in New Hampshire, which the author himself attended, Devon School is what was known as an elite boys' preparatory school, a private school that stresses athletics...

Latest answer posted April 2, 2016 4:17 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Phineas decides to wear the pink shirt as "an emblem". He says vaguely that he heard that the Allies "bombed Central Europe for the first time the other day", so he feels he...

Latest answer posted December 12, 2008 7:19 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

At the end of chapter 3, Finny tells Gene that he is his best friend after a fun, exhilarating day at the beach. Instead of responding to Finny's comment, Gene thinks to himself, I should have...

Latest answer posted September 12, 2017 10:43 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

In Chapter 3 of A Separate Peace, Gene narrates that Finny's life is regulated by "inspiration and anarchy." Despite this anarchy, Finny does value a set of rules—his own. Gene notes that Finny...

Latest answer posted January 8, 2017 3:26 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Finny's second accident occurs as he rushes out of the Assembly Room where Brinker has organized a mock trial for the purpose of investigating Finny's first accident. Distraught over the...

Latest answer posted July 23, 2008 12:59 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

At first, Devon serves as a sort of escape from World War II for the main characters. They are too young to enlist, so they continue with their studies in relative peace. Gene looks back on an...

Latest answer posted February 8, 2018 5:06 pm UTC

3 educator answers

A Separate Peace

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...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2018 1:02 pm UTC

3 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Verbal irony occurs when a speaker intentionally says something that he or she does not literally mean and uses words to convey the opposite meaning. In chapter 4, Gene asks Finny if he would mind...

Latest answer posted January 22, 2018 2:58 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

One possible thesis statement could suggest that A Separate Peace is a story about many different wars - the war Gene fights within himself, the war the boys fight against the world in and outside...

Latest answer posted October 11, 2012 4:53 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

I think the general cause of the "disagreement" between Gene and Quackenbush is that Quackenbush is a generally antagonistic person all around. Gene says that there is something wrong with...

Latest answer posted October 5, 2018 1:55 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Beginning in chapter 6, Knowles writes, "Peace had deserted Devon," as the Winter Session begins with five of the younger teachers missing because they had left for war (35). The boys also notice...

Latest answer posted August 31, 2017 4:13 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

This quote from A Separate Peace is from Chapter 7, when Brinker says he’s going to enlist in the war, and Gene becomes excited. He’s been thinking about enlisting but only in the dark recesses of...

Latest answer posted January 7, 2019 4:22 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

A "separate peace" has roots in actual military and political actions of different countries. It is a bit of a convoluted arrangement between the different countries, so I will try to give it a...

Latest answer posted February 7, 2020 3:34 pm UTC

4 educator answers

A Separate Peace

In A Separate Peace, Gene chooses to be an assistant crew manager for several reasons. 1. Gene is feeling sorry for himself and looks for a role that demonstrates his feeling. This is his senior...

Latest answer posted April 11, 2010 11:18 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

In addition to establishing the "momentary, illusory, special and separate peace" for the boys with the Winter Carnival, Phineas, for the first time since his accident, becomes active again and...

Latest answer posted May 7, 2009 11:03 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Gene finds comfort in putting on Finny's clothes because for a little while he can be someone other than himself. Because of Gene's guilt and self-loathing, just being himself is painful. Finny is...

Latest answer posted February 16, 2009 8:49 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

When Quackenbush accuses him of being maimed, Gene reacts by hitting him hard across the face. At first Gene doesn't know why he is reacting like this, and he thinks, "it was almost as though (he,...

Latest answer posted May 12, 2009 1:05 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

One definition of Irony is when the unexpected happens; but not only that, it's also when someone does their best to avoid a situation and gets involved anyway. Another definition might be when...

Latest answer posted April 4, 2012 1:07 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

In Chapter 8, Finny tells Gene that the "war stuff" is a myth. He states that American is not truly "in a state of war with Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan." He claims, "there isn't any war." So,...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2010 9:09 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

In John Knowles's A Separate Peace, Brinker is the "big man on campus": Brinker looked the standard preparatory school article his gray gabardine suit with square, handsewn-looking jacket pockets,...

Latest answer posted August 24, 2010 7:10 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

During a conversation between Gene and Brinker, Brinker mentions that his father's generation is responsible for causing the war that his generation is forced to fight. Gene mentions that he has...

Latest answer posted August 30, 2017 5:52 pm UTC

3 educator answers

A Separate Peace

In this quote, Gene is pondering the events that occurred during those crucial years at Devon school, and pairing it with his more mature knowledge of war and people that he has gained throughout...

Latest answer posted April 20, 2011 9:39 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Brinker is unwilling to accept the mystery (or the unknown) that surrounds Finny's fall from the tree. Though Finny has already said that he must have simply slipped, Brinker does not believe that...

Latest answer posted June 16, 2013 8:47 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Gene is a complex guy. He's great friends with Finny, but he's also really jealous of how everything just seems to fall in place for Finny. Gene works hard at school and sports, yet Finny often...

Latest answer posted October 6, 2016 1:45 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

One way to examine this question is to consider how jumping from the tree ultimately leads to Finny's death. While Finny survives the fall from the tree when Gene knocks him out, the broken leg...

Latest answer posted May 9, 2015 4:16 pm UTC

2 educator answers

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