A Separate Peace Questions and Answers

A Separate Peace

Gene likens summer mornings at Devon to an oxygen intoxicant, a shining northern paganism, some odor, some feeling so hopelessly promising that I would fall back in my bed on guard against it. In...

Latest answer posted August 14, 2018 12:39 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

After Finny's funeral in chapter 12, life continues in chapter 13 of A Separate Peace. Gene's class is graduating from Devon and preparing to enter the war effort. Meanwhile, in June, military...

Latest answer posted May 19, 2016 5:23 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

The purpose of the flashback is to lend perspective on the story. Now that Gene is an adult, he revisits Devon and reminisces about his schoolboy days. He recounts the story from the perspective...

Latest answer posted July 16, 2011 4:27 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

When someone mentions the words "morality" or "moral rules," one might think of following a code of chastity, but that isn't really the topic at hand in John Knowles's book. As far as "moral rules"...

Latest answer posted March 11, 2016 12:50 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

With dramatic irony the Second World War goes from being a distant something to be nonchalant about to a foreboding presence in the lives of the boys at Devon. In Chapter Seven Gene narrates, "In...

Latest answer posted February 12, 2009 11:36 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

In Chapter VII, Gene learns that Brinker intends to enlist in the military the next day, leaving Devon for World War II. Gene's immediate reaction is to feel "a thrill": To enlist. To slam the...

Latest answer posted March 5, 2009 12:02 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

One point that relates to the idea that the only enemy is really found in the self comes when Gene finds that he has no enemy. This happens when Finny begins training Gene for the Olympics. At this...

Latest answer posted April 12, 2012 5:07 pm UTC

5 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Perhaps the descriptive adjective applied to Gene in the early part of the novel can be ingenuous rather than innocent, an adjective whose connotation differs in that it suggests a lack of guile...

Latest answer posted September 29, 2009 2:46 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Finny's influence over Gene certainly plays a role in Gene not doing well on his test; however, it is mostly Gene's fault. Finny did not force Gene to go on the trip to the beach--if Gene had just...

Latest answer posted January 8, 2010 11:39 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

When Gene speaks to the doctor following the surgery, the doctor tells him that Finny's leg had sustained "a messy break," and that although he will walk again, he will never be able to play sports...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2010 11:49 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

The doctor's remark about "facing things" is significant because, in the story, it has to do with so much more than just the fact that Finny will no longer be able to play sports. Not only will...

Latest answer posted August 22, 2009 3:28 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

One could argue that Gene and Finny are not really best friends based on Gene's feelings of jealousy and anger toward Finny. During the summer session at Devon, the two boys certainly spend a lot...

Latest answer posted August 25, 2018 9:52 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Based upon Phillips Exeter School in New Hampshire, Devon School is an elite boarding school where "Boys Come to Be Made Men." At first, Devon is described as a calm and relaxed place, especially...

Latest answer posted February 22, 2021 11:05 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

The first place Finny wants to visit, rather than going to class on the first day back after his convalescence, is the gym. As they head towards their first classes of the day, Finny impulsively...

Latest answer posted January 13, 2010 11:18 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

One quote that shows Gene's conflict with himself occurs in the first chapter as he returns to Devon after an interval of 15 years. He writes of remembering his conflicted emotions of both fear and...

Latest answer posted October 17, 2019 4:14 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

The quote, "I began to know that each morning reasserted the problems of night before, that sleep suspended all but changed nothing, that you couldn't make yourself over between dawn and dusk," is...

Latest answer posted May 27, 2015 3:24 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

At the beginning of Chapter 9, there is "a separate peace" created within Gene, who is deceived by his own happiness because ...surrounding world confusion found no reflection inside me. So I...

Latest answer posted April 27, 2013 6:52 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Denial has various outlets in this book. One of the most obvious ways denial is shown is through the relationship between Gene and Finny. Throughout the book, it is clear to the reader that Gene is...

Latest answer posted March 18, 2012 4:00 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

To be redeemed means to atone for a sin or pay a debt: to make a wrong right and be in the clear. Fifteen years after have deliberately wobbled a branch, causing Finny a fall that ultimately killed...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2019 11:49 am UTC

3 educator answers

A Separate Peace

The “enemy” to whom Gene refers is really more of an idea than a person. Gene is reflecting on his participation in World War II and the battles of conscience and identity formation through which...

Latest answer posted November 29, 2018 5:50 am UTC

3 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Concerning Finny's relief when he gets confirmation that Gene is still his roommate, both of the above editors do a great job of answering the question. I'll just add a slightly different take on...

Latest answer posted February 15, 2010 2:52 am UTC

3 educator answers

A Separate Peace

A Separate Peace is a frame narrative through the eyes of the main character, Gene Forrester. The novel tells about his time in boarding school fifteen years earlier, through themes of friendships,...

Latest answer posted June 6, 2018 10:26 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

At times through the course of A Separate Peace, Gene is completely content to be Finny's best friend and to follow wherever Finny leads; at other times, Gene feels insecure and competitive about...

Latest answer posted January 15, 2012 11:32 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

All the enmity in the novel comes from Gene, not Phineas. It is Gene who wishes to find a petty motive behind Finny's actions. He suspects Finny of wanting to "finish me for good on the...

Latest answer posted January 6, 2009 1:13 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Behind the front window in Leper's house, there hangs a gold star. The star announces to the world that "a son of the house (is) serving the country." Gene notices the gold star when he journeys to...

Latest answer posted August 9, 2010 12:54 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

A Separate Peace is written from Gene Forrester's (a character's) point of view. Any depiction of Phineas is described through his jealous, and sometimes sarcastic, filter. That being said, Phineas...

Latest answer posted January 16, 2016 9:05 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Gene's flashback begins in the summer of 1942, about six months after the United States entered World War II with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The boys in the summer session at Devon are very aware...

Latest answer posted August 21, 2009 2:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

In Chapter 1 of A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Gene Forrester, the narrator, returns to Devon School after a period of fifteen years. The story is told in flashbacks when Gene revisits the...

Latest answer posted July 31, 2018 12:32 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

I really like the idea of using a quote for your essay's hook. It is a good way to grab reader attention. The basic guide of using Gene's internal conflict as the framework for the essay is a good...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2018 12:39 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Lepellier does suffer mental trauma in the army and does escape before his discharge. Below are three quotes that support that assertion. When Gene questions Lepellier on how long his furlough will...

Latest answer posted May 21, 2020 1:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

This is quite clearly an oxymoron. Let us remember that an oxymoron are two words that are placed next to each other to highlight an apparent contradiction in terms, such as bittersweet or...

Latest answer posted January 23, 2012 12:51 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

In chapter 3, Finny convinces Gene to break the rules by going to the beach and hanging out all night. Despite having a difficult, important trigonometry test the next morning, Gene follows Finny...

Latest answer posted November 7, 2018 4:20 pm UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Brinker has started to wonder if Gene isn't hiding something about the incident in which Finny fell from the tree and shattered his leg. As Gene states, describing Brinker's character: Before he...

Latest answer posted May 10, 2019 1:49 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

Dramatic irony involves the reader knowing more than the characters do. In Chapter 4, Gene comes to the conclusion that Finny's escapades have all been an attempt to sabotage his grades. I found...

Latest answer posted July 27, 2010 10:42 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

In chapter 4 of A Separate Peace, Phineas and Gene argue about their differences rather than embracing them. The argument arises when Phineas wants Gene to stop studying and go for a swim with him....

Latest answer posted June 10, 2016 8:46 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Leper leaves the Devon school to enlist in a skiing corps that he had seen on a newsreel in chapter nine. Since Leper wasn't very popular or athletic, none of the other boys in the school rallied...

Latest answer posted November 20, 2013 10:31 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

In chapter 13, Gene has a conversation with Brinker Hadley's father and mentions that he has decided to enlist in the Navy, where he hopes to avoid much action and plans to never see a foxhole. At...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2018 10:29 am UTC

3 educator answers

A Separate Peace

You have asked two questions so I will only respond to the first. You always need to be wary of reading any novel as an allegory. A simple allegorical reading can lead you to miss some of the depth...

Latest answer posted May 5, 2010 10:10 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Rivalry is between two distinct parties. Competition is between any parties. In A Separate Peace Gene pits himself in particular as a rival of Finny. He wants to have something that he is better...

Latest answer posted February 4, 2010 6:26 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

As Enotes accepts only one question at a time, yours had to be pared down. You may wish to type others into the search window as some have already been answered and you can thus access these...

Latest answer posted August 11, 2011 6:12 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

What if you wrote to Finny and then to the other boys at the school who are close to Finny? Gene hurts this group the most. I would not say "Dear Phineas" because Gene almost always refers to...

Latest answer posted April 26, 2010 8:51 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

In Chapter 3, Gene says, "Although he was rarely conscious of it, Phineas was always being watched, like the weather". Finny has a way about him which attracts the attention of others. His...

Latest answer posted August 22, 2009 3:07 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

As Gene and Brinker returned from working in the railyard, Brinker, completely disgusted with the oblivious attitude of Leper and the humor of shoveling snow while the war was raging, announced his...

Latest answer posted May 11, 2013 9:10 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Gene wants to be Finny; that's the kind of person that Gene wants to be. Throughout the book, there are clues that indicate his desire to be more like Finny. After Finny's accident, Gene is...

Latest answer posted April 15, 2009 9:39 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

After Gene and Finny return from their overnight trip to the beach, Gene concludes that Finny is trying to deliberately sabotage his grades by keeping him too busy and distracted to study. He...

Latest answer posted May 8, 2009 12:26 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

In concurrence with the statement that Gene and Finny do become friends at the end of the novel: Upon his return to Devon as he traverses the campus, Gene remarks, Everything at Devon slowly...

Latest answer posted August 20, 2010 6:07 am UTC

2 educator answers

A Separate Peace

I'm not sure where you are in the book, so I don't want to give anything away. Finny's injury ends up being very closely tied to his feelings on the war, and we discover this later on in the...

Latest answer posted April 13, 2009 12:14 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

To be at peace with yourself means that you are comfortable with who you are, what you're doing with your life, and how your actions are affecting others. Gene spends much of his time in A Separate...

Latest answer posted December 27, 2011 2:29 am UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

Despite being the only main character whose last name is not given, Finny's character embodies the symbolic essence of the Eden-like Devon School in his innocence, excellence, and virtue. Knowles...

Latest answer posted April 20, 2021 8:35 pm UTC

1 educator answer

A Separate Peace

While Gene and Finny have similar interests and are close friends during their time at Devon, the two characters have dramatically different personalities. Finny is portrayed as a charismatic,...

Latest answer posted August 27, 2018 1:00 pm UTC

2 educator answers

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