A Separate Peace Questions and Answers

A Separate Peace

Brinker is bothered by the mystery surrounding Finny's fall from the tree where he sustained the injury to his leg. Gene either fails or refuses to provide Brinker with satisfactory details of the...

Latest answer posted May 8, 2012 9:24 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Finny's death could be important for a couple of different reasons. I think one of those reasons has to be it shows all of the boys that being young and carefree doesn't mean they are invincible....

Latest answer posted March 28, 2019 1:21 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Writing on this topic, Finny is a character you will want to examine along with Gene. Finny can be read as a symbolic character, at least in part, representing youth, childhood and innocence. The...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2012 3:23 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

The differences between Leper and Brinker are more obvious, but studying their characters reveals several very important similarities. Both boys are afraid of going to World War II, and they...

Latest answer posted March 8, 2011 6:29 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

John Knowles wrote his 1959 classic of literature, A Separate Peace, from Gene’s perspective simply because that was the style of storytelling he selected, and because it enabled the author to...

Latest answer posted August 20, 2013 4:56 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

I'd like to add that the marble staircase holds importance as a place of violence as well. After the mock trial contrived by Brinker, Finny runs from the room, unable to hear of Gene's role in his...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2009 6:01 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

One reason that an author would develop two characters as complete opposites is to further highlight exactly what each character is. Sometimes, a person is more able to grasp what something is or...

Latest answer posted August 10, 2018 4:43 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Leper Lepellier is the oddball or misfit of the group of boys at Devon school in 1942-1943. He is very interested in nature and experiencing the outdoors in a peaceful way. He's usually in his own...

Latest answer posted March 17, 2016 4:46 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Knowles uses weather and nature to symbolize elements in life over which man has no control. Humans can make choices to lead their lives in directions that will make them happy; but, there are...

Latest answer posted November 27, 2012 5:58 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

In Chapter 11 of A Separate Peace, Brinker Hadley seeks the facts of the circumstances surrounding Finny's accident because he suspects Gene Forrester of foul play. Gene returns to Devon after...

Latest answer posted April 8, 2015 1:30 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

The passage that you are looking for is a couple pages from the end of chapter 12. Finny admits, for the first time, that has desparately wanted to be a part of the war. He had been submitting...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2009 2:32 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

One of the best examples of figurative language enhancing our understanding of the book comes in at the very end of the novel, when Leper is describing the events at the tree. Brinker brings him...

Latest answer posted November 2, 2009 7:37 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

The double irony in Gene's comment of Chapter 8 of "A Separate Peace" is this: 1. Gene suspects Finny of deception when, in reality, Finny has no deception in him. For instance, when Gene fails a...

Latest answer posted August 27, 2009 7:52 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

To sum it up in a very simplistic way, Finny is cool and Leper is not. Leper doesn't quite fit in socially; he is awkward, laughs at nerdy things, likes nerdy things, and is never quite at ease...

Latest answer posted October 15, 2009 8:55 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

In chapter eight of A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, Phineas (Finny) is back at Devon after having been home, recuperating from the shattered leg he got when Gene "jounced" the limb of the tree...

Latest answer posted August 1, 2013 5:37 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Leper's character provides conflict because he is the character that reveals the true face of war-both literal war, and the internal war that Gene waged against Finny. In the novel, the boys don't...

Latest answer posted March 28, 2009 12:03 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Gene and Phineas are the two characters we will want to look at in analyzing the ideas of guilt and grief in the novel. The first major event in the novel generates guilt for Gene and grief for...

Latest answer posted January 14, 2013 4:40 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Gene attributed his success in the Decathlon of Devon's Winter Carnival to the completely uninhibited freedom the boys captured for that afternoon. For that brief span of time, they were able to...

Latest answer posted April 27, 2013 9:53 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

At the beginning of A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Gene returns to Devon 15 years after he graduated high school. When he visits the First Academy Building, he narrates, In through the swinging...

Latest answer posted September 11, 2016 8:01 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

The first two paragraphs of the book are marked by a first person narrator, who speaks in long, complex sentences. This establishes one point of view from which the story will be told. It also...

Latest answer posted November 2, 2009 5:29 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Finny has a charismatic power over Gene, which Gene cannot quite figure out. As a "Charter Member" of the "Super Suicide Society", a club of sorts created by Finny, Gene and...

Latest answer posted May 18, 2008 6:11 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

At the end of chapter nine, Gene receives a telegram at Devon from Leper. His telegram only says that: I have escaped and need help. I am at Christmas location. You understand. No need to risk...

Latest answer posted April 29, 2018 9:41 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

A central motif in the novel is fear, never expressed but deeply felt by the boys at Devon beginning in the summer of 1942. As Gene's flashback begins, the Summer Session is underway, as is World...

Latest answer posted July 18, 2009 10:27 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

This is an interesting question, because the idea of money or affluence is never really mentioned in A Separate Peace, by John Knowles. It is true that Devon is a boarding school and, presumably,...

Latest answer posted August 20, 2013 6:51 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

In the concluding chapter of A Separate Peace, after having returned to Devon School in order to resolve his internal conflicts of years ago, Gene Forrester narrates, ...it seemed clear that wars...

Latest answer posted April 19, 2012 4:14 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Phineas provides many examples of freedom from concern with conforming to society's expectations. He was completely comfortable with himself and didn't feel any need to abide by the rules affecting...

Latest answer posted May 21, 2012 4:27 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

When Gene visits Leper, he learns the psychological effects that war can have upon someone, and Gene learns that the same evil that begins wars resides within himself. After receiving the telegram...

Latest answer posted August 18, 2015 1:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

In Chapter 9 of "A Separate Peace, there may be several symbolic meanings attached to the burning of the copy of the Iliad in order to begin the games of "The Devon Winter Carnival." Being set in...

Latest answer posted July 2, 2009 5:08 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Leper isn't one of the more popular kids at Devon. He appears to be secure with his loner status, preferring to be one with nature rather than in the center of the social circle. After the war,...

Latest answer posted July 16, 2011 2:57 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Knowles closes the novel with Gene graduating from Devon and heading out to join the Air Force, serene in the knowledge that his "war" with the deceased Finny is now behind him. Contemplating the...

Latest answer posted September 6, 2019 2:14 am UTC

3 educator answers

A Separate Peace

The frame is completed in a subtle way on the final page of the novel with Gene's three-paragraph coda which begins "I never killed anybody . . . ." Instead of ending the flashback by returning to...

Latest answer posted March 14, 2009 5:41 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

There are several questions being asked here, so this answer will focus on Leper. While some readers might consider him a minor character, I would support the idea that he holds much of the story...

Latest answer posted September 16, 2019 2:09 pm UTC

3 educator answers

A Separate Peace

(eNotes editors may only answer one question per post. If you need more help, please resubmit other questions separately.) Gene is surprised, pleased, and slightly uncomfortable to find Finny in...

Latest answer posted February 19, 2013 3:37 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

There are details in the very first chapter that show how things have changed at the school. There had never been a summer session before the war, and Gene, Finney, and the other students on their...

Latest answer posted May 11, 2009 10:57 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

As the two founding members of the Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session, Gene and Finny successfully round up more boys to become a part of their secret society. Though Gene hates the...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2018 12:14 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Gene returns to Devon in late fall, at the end of November. It was a raw, non-descript time of year, toward the end of November, ... [a] wet, self-pitying November day. The emotionally charged...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2018 8:43 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

The themes you have drawn out of this novel seem very accurate, central to the meaning of Knowles' novel and broad enough also to connect this book to other works. Looking for short pieces to...

Latest answer posted September 9, 2012 8:50 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

In A Separate Peace, Finny's falling from the tree is the pivotal moment in the novel. It is the catalyst for the plot, conflicts, themes, etc. It leads to the examination of illusions,...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2010 7:29 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Because of his injury, Finny no longer can enlist; he is no longer physically capable of doing so, nor will he ever be. Although he acts nonchalant, this reality is a source of deep bewilderment to...

Latest answer posted January 14, 2010 3:13 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Although no one believes that he will actually go through with it, Leper is the only one of the other boys who actually steps forward with the intention of jumping from the tree. Until that time,...

Latest answer posted February 13, 2009 4:56 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Reading the story symbolically, I can say that the ending is satisfying. Part of Gene dies with Finny - his innocence, his boyhood, his separation from the world of adults. We can see this idea...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2012 2:03 am UTC

4 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Before Finny's accident, and for awhile after it, Gene has no interest in sports. The closest he comes to actually playing is signing up as Assistant Crew Manager. He acknowledges that this...

Latest answer posted December 9, 2009 3:55 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Gene tries telling Finny what had happened pretty soon after the accident; in the infirmary, he tries to gather courage to do it once, but ends up chickening out because "Dr. Stanpole came in...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2009 10:20 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Gene has a great deal of ambivalence about his return to Devon. He has a certain amount of nostalgia for the school of his boyhood, a place where he clearly had times of great joy. But there is...

Latest answer posted September 8, 2009 12:53 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Gene has gained a much broader perspective on life due to Finny's death. Back in the day he was totally caught up in Finny's exciting little world of risk and adventure. At times, it was almost a...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2018 8:33 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Brinker chooses the Coast Guard and Gene chooses the Navy (199). At first, Gene thinks that getting drafted might be the best decision for himself, but he explains to Mr. Hadley, Brinker's dad,...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2012 1:57 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Phineas had "escaped" having to go to war (World War II) because of the leg injury that he had sustained during the previous summer. But because Phineas was one who had a difficult time accepting...

Latest answer posted September 12, 2012 5:25 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

In John Knowles’s A Separate Peace, Gene attempts to maintain control in the Butt Room through use of hyperbole and humor. The Butt Room is described as a dungeon and is depicted in stark contrast...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2019 1:38 am UTC

4 educator answers

A Separate Peace

The theme of wisdom is very relevant to "A Separate Peace." As the older Gene returns to Devon School and reviews his life there, he recalls his early belief that Finny wishes to keep him from...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2009 1:39 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

In John Knowles coming of age story, "A Separate Peace," several major events impacted Gene during his time there. Two of these events took place at the tree and the marble stairs. The simple...

Latest answer posted February 24, 2010 1:40 am UTC

2 educator answers

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