A Separate Peace Questions and Answers

A Separate Peace

In 1942, Gene and Phineas are good friends attending summer school at a private school called Devon. Gene excels academically and Phineas is the athlete. It is curious that these two would become...

Latest answer posted January 16, 2016 9:35 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Most of the boys at Devon are willing to live with the mystery of what happened to Finny on that fateful day when he fell from the tree. But not Brinker. A stickler for the facts, he wants to get...

Latest answer posted January 21, 2020 1:45 pm UTC

4 educator answers

A Separate Peace

The First Academy building, sometimes just called the First building, is the central and most important building of the Devon school. It is different from the other buildings, Gene says, because it...

Latest answer posted October 10, 2018 8:48 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

The statement could be interpreted as a foreshadowing of the death of innocence. Up until now, Devon has been largely immune from the war and its consequences. For the privileged boys attending...

Latest answer posted February 7, 2019 7:44 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Every version of the book will have different page numbers, so if I give you one it most likely will not be accurate. However, I can tell you as close as I can where the passages are. For great...

Latest answer posted June 12, 2009 1:54 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Finny tells Gene that World War II is a fake war devised by old men to control young men. It isn't really happening, and there really isn't a food shortage. Finny says: Well what happened was that...

Latest answer posted May 26, 2018 11:54 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

In A Separate Peace, Finny's fall is symbolic of the loss of the blissful summer that the boys have experienced before "the gray encroachments" of World War II come upon them. As an almost...

Latest answer posted April 29, 2012 8:20 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Generally, I agree with "mshurn"'s point, but I would add that the return to Devon in the novel adds an essential dialectical element in the novel between the past and the future. The primary...

Latest answer posted February 6, 2009 9:10 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

One of the first descriptions of Gene Forrester is found when he is first confronted with peer pressure to jump out of a very enormous tree into a river. He describes himself as fearful in the...

Latest answer posted January 20, 2016 3:32 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Before Finny tells Gene that he's his "best pal" (48), all we get from Gene is information about his jealousy of Finny that puts both of them in a negative light. Since Gene is telling the story,...

Latest answer posted March 5, 2012 2:23 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

In A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Gene says "Peace had deserted Devon" at the beginning of chapter 6. He is referring to the fact that the summer session has ended, and everyone is back to...

Latest answer posted September 13, 2016 5:45 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

In order to connect the protagonist of this novel to World War II, which forms part of the story’s background, it is necessary to understand the literary concept of bildungsroman. The term is based...

Latest answer posted March 2, 2020 4:33 pm UTC

4 educator answers

A Separate Peace

After Finny dies, the war truly comes to Devon. Before, while there was heightened military presence around the campus, Gene remained separate from the reality of war. Even Leper's experience is...

Latest answer posted January 21, 2010 7:09 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Two of the symbols that emerge in Chapter 3 are sports and blitzball. Sports are a metaphor for the war. Finny, who is a great afficionado of games of athletic skill, has a most unrealistic view on...

Latest answer posted July 27, 2010 3:57 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Elwin Lepellier, better known as Leper, was the first in Gene's class to enlist in the army. He had been gone only for a little while when Gene receives a telegram from Leper saying the following:...

Latest answer posted January 22, 2016 4:49 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

A thesis might be made posing Gene's internal conflict as a metaphorical battle between the impulse to remain a child (and follow Finny) and the impulse to plunge into adulthood (following...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2012 10:24 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

When Gene first arrives at Devon, he becomes fast friends with Finny before developing a deep sense of jealousy and envy toward him. Gene's low self-esteem and lack of confidence are the catalysts...

Latest answer posted August 29, 2018 10:27 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

I would like to take a little bit of a different approach to your question. I find it interesting that you specifically mention "five" events because that number corresponds exactly with the five...

Latest answer posted June 15, 2015 3:12 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Finny's outlook on life shaped his reactions to every situation. He revelled in seizing the moment and exploiting every opportunity as it was happening, without analyzing or digging for hidden...

Latest answer posted August 25, 2012 8:40 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Finny returns to Devon and quickly demonstrates that his personality hasn't been impacted at all by his injury. He is energetic, irreverant, and full of conversation about everything that interests...

Latest answer posted June 1, 2012 1:42 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Blitzball is played with a heavy medicine ball outdoors. The person with the ball is chased by others until the ball is passed. If the group catches up to the person with the ball before he passes...

Latest answer posted January 20, 2016 5:28 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Allusions are cultural or historical references specific to the time period in which the book is set. For example, if you were writing a story set during the present time, you might reference...

Latest answer posted February 11, 2016 5:28 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

He is a final reminder of the war, and a way to bring the war front and central, once again, making it more of a real part of their lives. Things are changing, and Brinker's dad serves as the...

Latest answer posted March 14, 2009 1:09 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Finny makes up the game of blitzball spontaneously, adding adaptations as he goes. He peppers his instructions to the other players with phrases like "naturally", and "of course". To him, the...

Latest answer posted February 6, 2009 9:17 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

These answers can be found on the last two pages of chapter 11, if you are interested in finding the actual quotes. Leper actually describes the event very poetically, when he is assembled before...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2009 7:43 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Weather used to reflect mood or emotion in a work of literature is called the pathetic fallacy. A fallacy is an example of false logic, so the term encompasses the idea that there is no logical...

Latest answer posted April 2, 2019 1:34 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

In A Separate Peace, Phineas, an ebullient youth, creates imaginary adventures and games that create an appearance of reckless gaiety and peace amid the reality of the approach of World War II and...

Latest answer posted August 17, 2015 11:59 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Leper is different from most of the other boys because Leper could best be described as a naturalist and/or idealist. He is a peaceful and quiet kid that enjoys spending time in nature and...

Latest answer posted April 27, 2017 2:45 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

When Brinker Hadley enters Gene's room, he sarcastically remarks that Gene has "real influence" around the campus of Devon. After all, he has a big room to himself now that Finny has been...

Latest answer posted July 27, 2011 3:03 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Gene is an interesting one, because one main point of the novel is that the war impacts him less than his experiences with Finny did. Gene gives an entire analogy at the end of the book where he...

Latest answer posted December 9, 2010 5:51 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

The Winter Carnival, an illusion of peace in which the boys live for a short while, ends with the arrival of Leper's telegram saying he had "escaped" from the war. This intrusion of reality is...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2009 6:05 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

We should first start off by saying that we do not know if Gene is really guilty. The details are complex and can be interpreted in various ways. Did Gene jounce the branch? If so, was it...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2018 4:06 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

After his return to Devon school and his passage through time in remembrance of his years there, Gene comes to a self-awareness that he did not possess while a youth. Like so many, Gene as a youth...

Latest answer posted August 21, 2010 6:45 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Finny pretty much concludes that Gene probably is responsible for knocking him out of the tree. Even if Gene did it accidentally, it is understood between the both of them that Gene may have had...

Latest answer posted January 12, 2011 9:05 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

The dual nature of Devon's architecture reflects the divided nature of the school itself. The author explains, "The school had been largely rebuilt with a massive bequest from an oil family some...

Latest answer posted August 29, 2009 7:22 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Gene meets Leper's mother when he goes to Vermont to see Leper at home after receiving his telegram about having "escaped" from the army. She appears for the first time immediately after Gene has...

Latest answer posted May 14, 2011 7:38 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

There are two types of conflict: internal and external. Internal conflict refers to the inner struggles a character faces, such as battles with guilt, shame, or decision-making. External conflict...

Latest answer posted December 1, 2017 5:48 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

This allusion comes when Mr. Ludsbury sees Gene and Finny exercising late at night; or, more accurately, Gene exercising and Finny coaching him. Gene remarks that ordinarily, they would be in...

Latest answer posted December 10, 2009 9:16 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

In Chapter 11 of A Separate Peace, Gene has taped pictures which create the illusion of his having come from the gentry of the South: plantation mansions, old trees with Spanish moss hanging from...

Latest answer posted December 12, 2015 5:44 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Gene states in the end of the book that everyone, sometime in their life, is confronted with a force, trial or issue that is so large, overwhelming and difficult that it breaks them, and changes...

Latest answer posted March 15, 2009 11:50 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

The rainy weather in the opening section of A Separate Peace serves at least two purposes in the text. First, Gene suggests that "anyone could see that it was time to come in out of the rain"...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2012 2:41 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

First, the reader should understand that Finny dearly loves attention, so when he snatches up the copy of The Iliad to light it on fire, the reader can view the moment as being emblematic of all of...

Latest answer posted January 18, 2013 1:09 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Finny, ever imaginative and creative, comes up with "the truth" about the war, sharing it with Gene. According to Finny, World War II does not really exist. He explains that it is a plot by the...

Latest answer posted March 5, 2009 11:29 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Before his accident, Finny had been a multi-sport natural athlete of the highest degree. While his successes came easily to him and he didn't like to make a show of his abilities, he did enjoy...

Latest answer posted November 16, 2012 3:19 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

After Gene witnesses Finny break A. Hopkins Parker's swimming record one random night in the natatorium, Finny insists that Gene keep his secret and not tell anyone about his amazing achievement....

Latest answer posted January 6, 2019 5:52 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Like most of the characters in the novel, Leper and Brinker hold significance largely in their relationship to Gene. These two characters teach Gene different lessons and challenge him in different...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2012 10:41 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

In John Knowles's A Separate Peace, Phineas is the best friend to Gene, who is the narrator of the story. Since Gene is the narrator, the reader only sees Phineas through Gene's eyes; however, what...

Latest answer posted May 29, 2018 3:38 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

In chapter one, Gene mentions that Finny was by far the best athlete in the school, even though he was not spectacularly built. Gene goes on to say that he and Finny were the same height, which is...

Latest answer posted February 13, 2019 2:55 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

This quote can apply to Finny because it corresponds to his dramatic decline after severely breaking his leg toward the beginning of the novel. Before Gene purposely knocks Finny off the tree...

Latest answer posted October 16, 2018 10:21 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

In John Knowles’ novel A Separate Peace, Gene’s best friend Phineas, or Finny, is the embodiment to which many boys and young men aspire. Knowles’ story is about the relationship between these two...

Latest answer posted August 27, 2017 2:46 am UTC

2 educator answers

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