What does the phrase “a separate peace” mean to you and to the novel? Finny organizes his own version of the Olympic games as part of his Devon Winter Carnival. After finishing a decathlon, Gene says, “It wasn’t the cider which made me surpass myself, it was this liberation we had torn from the gray encroachments of 1943, the escape we had concocted, this afternoon of momentary, illusory, special and separate peace.” In your group discuss what Gene means in this passage. What is the “separate peace” that Gene is describing, and how do the students achieve it on this day? At this point, what does the phrase “a separate peace” mean to you and to the novel? Share your opinions with others in your class. Use details from the novel to support your conclusions including at least one quote.

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The phrasing of this question makes the answer subjective and up to individual readers. Your answer needs to explain what "a separate peace" means to you. The quote provided appears about two-thirds of the way through book. It's possible to take a couple different angles as to what the phrase might mean. I think it is definitely possible that you could apply the phrase to Gene and Finny's relationship at certain points in the novel, but I don't think that makes sense based on the quote. The usage of the word "liberation" and the specific call to attention of 1943's encroachments makes me think the quote is specifically referencing World War II.

The boys at Devon know about the war. They know that they are likely to participate in...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 405 words.)

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