A Separate Peace Questions and Answers
by John Knowles

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Why is Finny's death important in A Separate Peace?

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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. There is a war going on outside of their campus, yet the boys exist in a metaphorical bubble. The war and horrors associated with it do not really reach their campus and their lives. Gene brings a war of sorts that exists between him and Finny, but it is an unfair war because nobody other than Gene knows it is going on; however, Finny's death is very real to all of the boys. It brings a very real sense of mortality to everyone close to Finny. I think Finny's death also functions as a way of closure for Gene. Gene has been fighting against just about everything that Finny is. Gene is insanely jealous of Finny,...

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