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Through the course of A Separate Peace, Gene waivers between friendship, jealousy and hatred in analyzing his relationship with Finny. He learns how quickly deep appreciation of Finny's enthusiasm for new, different, unexpected activities can change to feelings of apprehension, discomfort and betrayal. Gene finds himself being protective of Finny and his changed physical needs at times, but at other times is resentful of the ease with which Finny overcomes his changed capabilities, the ever-present reminder of Gene's betrayal of their solidarity. Certainly, the presence of WWII on the world scene impacts the lives and attitudes of the boys at Devon School, but in another sense, the "war" is within each individual as he struggles to come to terms with himself and his response to growing up and facing adulthood under those conditions.
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