Sr. Pat Sophomore Honors English Literature
Learn the important quotes in A Separate Peace and the chapters they're Gene , who is beginning to excel at sports under Finny's guidance, is now Gene has found perfect peace in his "indivisible" relationship with Finny. The Hostility Between Gene and Finny in A Separate Peace by John Knowles In the beginning, Gene thought his feeling towards Phineas was completely . were all contributing factors to the ups and downs in Gene's and Finny's relationship. .. Describe Gene's visit with Leper and his character now: Chapters 1. A summary of Chapter 1 in John Knowles's A Separate Peace. Gene is there with his roommate Phineas, or Finny, and three other boys: Elwin Gene's wandering around the Devon campus in the opening scene creates a mood of dread of the book's passages, especially those detailing Gene's relationship with Finny.
The need to maintain willful hate is one that Gene himself has invented; it is natural neither to this world nor, as Gene finally realizes, to Finny. The fall answers a deep wish in Gene, and there are times when Gene cannot help but assign a certain purposefulness to the shaking of the branch.
This bizarre act symbolizes the extent to which Gene has blurred, and continues to blur, the line that separates his own identity from that of his best friend. Gene feels guilty about the accident because he knows how envious he was of Finny and cannot help but think that this envy somehow influenced his actions, even if only on a subconscious level. By dressing up as Finny, Gene purges himself of this envy by becoming the object of it. Finny seems to need something to latch onto, and so he latches onto his friendship with Gene.
The relationship becomes the center of his life, especially once he returns to Devon in later chapters. While Finny clings to the friendship, Gene makes an attempt to sever it. While he may wish to mimic or even transform himself into Finny, he finds it too painful to maintain a connection to him as a separate person, to confront Finny and his injury from his guilty position.
Not only does Brinker support order in the classroom and the dormitory, but he also functions as a force for order in the larger moral landscape.
Gene understands that he is losing himself and becoming a part of Finny. One might understand the joy that Gene consequently feels as stemming from a deep desire; he may dislike himself so much by now that his dearest wish is to abandon this self-altogether. In these chapters, the war takes on an increased significance in the novel, having lurked in the background thus far.
Ultimately, the war has only an indirect and insidious effect on the students at Devon. When Gene eventually abandons his plans to enlist, he does so based upon his relationship with Finny—not because he has ceased to hate the gloom of waiting or the feeling of uselessness. There are two possible explanations for how the fall can have brought the friends closer even though the events and emotions leading up to it seem to prove Gene undeserving of such a friendship.
If one loves something enough, he insists, it must return that affection. One can argue that this assumption—that love is always reciprocated—is the foundation of his continued closeness with Gene. When Gene achieves his breakthrough on the track and becomes a better runner, Finny remarks that Gene has learned something new about himself through exercise.
While this statement may be true, it also rings of cruel irony; perhaps all that Gene has learned about himself is how easily he can transform himself into a mirror of Finny.
His habitual friendliness, it seems, does not extend to those who challenge his self-preserving illusions. The scene outside Mr. These other characters extend their warrior mindsets to sports as well. Leper, who has been strictly a secondary character thus far, suddenly takes center stage in the novel, first by joining the army and then by deserting.
When they imagine one of their peers involved in grand historical events, the war suddenly seems more on their level, less intimidating; after all, if Leper can be a hero, then anyone can. That only Finny refuses to join in the joking is significant. He has no insecurities about being a coward or a poor soldier because he cannot be a soldier at all. At this moment, the spirit of whimsy and frolic overcomes the spirit of rules and duties; for now, if only for a day, Finny is the master of Devon, and Brinker must simply follow his lead.
Leper launches into terrifying descriptions of the hallucinations that he suffered in the army. The snowball fight that greets Gene upon his arrival constitutes yet another example of what defines Finny: As long as the war lacks, Gene knows that he can be with Finny, since the fact that he can join the military while Finny cannot becomes irrelevant. One can argue that Knowles is implying that Finny knows everything—which he simply chooses to overlook the evidence against Gene because of his extreme dependence on him and need to love him.
Except for a brief calculation about whether people will believe Leper, Gene treats the terribly important events going on around him with a bizarre lack of emotion. This quality compels us once again to ponder how reliable a narrator Gene is; we must continually question the accuracy of his portrayals and analyze the story for ourselves, reading between the lines.
A Separate Peace: Top Ten Quotes | Novelguide
As he floats aimlessly, he comes to recognize that he has no sense of himself, no sense of his own identity or being. Gene tells us that the landscape speaks to him, but he cannot hear its message. It is difficult to know what to make of the interaction between the two friends on the following day.
Gene, ever the problematic narrator, withholds information: By refusing to resolve the matter definitively, the novel forces the reader to contemplate the subtleties of the story.
Gene devotion to Finny after the accident would seem to exonerate him. His shame seems to point to his guilt, yet perhaps his intense regret and self-hatred have sufficed as atonement for his misdeed. Gene and Finny rely on each other to deal with the anxieties of adolescence and the encroaching war and seem to need each other in order to survive.
Gene is merged with Finny to so great an extent it is difficult to imagine one boy continuing to exist without the other. The Novel ends on an appropriately dark note, as the war invades Devon. The soldiers set up camp on the campus. The precise reason for this enmity is never fully explained; nevertheless, from the story as a whole we may conclude that it was quite a perverse hatred.
If our hatred of others stems from something intrinsic to the human heart, then sincere friendships and peaceful societies will always be imperiled. If our animosities stem from ignorance, then perhaps we may retain hope for our futures, both as individuals and as communities.
Is it easier for a novelist to use a setting that is familiar to him or to create an entirely new one? What personal qualities might you see in a friend?
A Separate Peace: Top Ten Quotes
What kinds of motives would prompt a person to do something nice or something mean? Look at the vocabulary words on page Write the sentence from the reading selection in which you find the word. What changes happen in a society or to an individual during a war? How do you think a war would affect the lives of boys who are close to draft age? From whose point of is the story being told? What feeling has been preserved here along with the school? What sites does the narrator want to see?
Why were they fearful sites? Why does the narrator want to see the stairs? What does the fact that the narrator wants to achieve harmony tell you about the narrator? Why has he come back to school to achieve it? Most adjectives and adverbs have different forms to show degrees of comparison. On pages and locate six examples of comparison and tell whether each is comparative or superlative.
Rewrite the sentence and underline the comparison. Rewrite the following sentences on loose-leaf paper using the correct degree of comparison. On pagehow does the weather reflect the mood of the characters? In the second column on pagethe novel makes a transition. What would make the narrator climb the tree even though he was afraid? What can you infer about Finny?
What makes Finny and Gene best of friends? How would you describe Finny? Is he someone you would like? Why or why not? The last paragraph on page …. What does Finny mean by his opinion on authority? As you read Chapter two, concentrate on the character of Finny. What makes him such an unusual sixteen-year-old?
What can you learn about Finny from the discussion with Mr. Why is Finny surprised when people are stunned by what he says on page ? What more does this description of Phinaes tells you about his character on page ? Have you even known a person like Phinaes? How do you feel about that person? Did the faculty really think of the boys in this way? Why does finny feel that he should talk about the war?
Why does Gene get excited about his friend getting in trouble? What does this show about Gene and his relationship with Finny? How does Gene feel about Finny getting away with something on page ? Why is Gene disappointed on page ? Is it something else beside excitement? On page what more does this tell you about Finny?
Discuss whether Gene is right about sarcasm. What does sarcasm in a person often tell you about that person? What does Gene mean when he tells Finny that there is something unpleasant about the question Finny asked on page ? Why does Finny form such a society? Do you think that Gene will do anything about how he feels based on what you know about his character?
How would you describe Finny as a leader? How does the fact that he makes the rules and does not go by those imposed on him by other people make him a strong leader? On page what would you say to Finny about this commandment?
What responsibility does this give him? On page why does Finny mention again that they were all enemies? Finny obviously feels driven while playing the game of Blitzball.
Why is this so important? Can you infer whether jealousy or admiration comes into play? How would you like to have a friend like Finny? On the bottom of the 1st column on page how does this description of war fit with what you have read about it? How would you describe a time of war? On page is this how you would describe Finny? Finny appears to be bragging.
Is his bragging appropriate or justified on page ? On the bottom of page have you ever done something just to see if you could do it? What makes a person act this way? On page what does Gene mean by telling Finny that he is too good to be true?
What is his motivation for saying it? On the bottom of pagewhy does Gene go when he feels the way he does? Why does he say it? How would you describe a friend who is like Finny?
Using these words rewrite the following sentences: Rewrite correctly the following sentences. On pagewhy is it difficult for Finny to make such a confession of friendship? Something holds Gene back from telling Finny that he feels the same way about their relationship. What reason can you infer for why he was unable to express his true feelings? What emotions are associated with a comment like this?
Gene may have come to a true realization about his relationship with Finny. Describe the relationship and what has contributed to it being the way its? Jealousy is a powerful emotion. How can jealousy affect a friendship? On the bottom ofhow can enmity affect a friendship? On pagewhat and how is Gene feeling? Predict what he will do. In what ways are Gene and Finny alike? In what ways are they different? In the 1st column on pageGene is desperately trying to understand Finny.
Discuss what Finny means and why Gene is having such difficulty with it. Discuss whether Finny is being serious or sarcastic. What is the reason for your opinion? Close to the bottom of pagedescribe how Gene feels when he comes to this realization.? On pagepredict what Gene will do.
Gene bounces the limb, which causes Finny to lose his balance. Is this a purposeful move? On pageanswer question 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Use complete sentences to answer these questions. Explain the function of the word who, whom or whose in the following sentences. Is the word a direct object, object of the prepositionthe subject, or possessive.
Select the correct pronoun from these sentences. To this point, the novel explains in detail the characters, setting, conflict, and climax. What have the conflicts been so far between Gene and Finny? Look at the vocabulary list on page and write the sentence from the book that includes the word. The character of Finny is presented as the ideal young man whose almost perfect nature occasionally arouses suspicion in those who meet him.
He is a natural-born athlete who, because of his ability, moves with grace and great coordination. He is seen as a person who has never made an awkward movement until he falls out of the tree.
This clumsy action is the first ungraceful action anyone has ever seen Finny make. How he handles this is important in the story. Refer to the 3rd paragraph on page What does this paragraph tell you about what has happened? What do you think Gene is feeling? In the very next paragraph on the same page is Gene admitting that he has caused Finny to fall out of the tree on purpose? Why is Gene so vehement in saying that Finny must be able to do sports?
Summarize what sports symbolize for Finny. On page what is Gene expecting instead of kindness? Why is Gene so frightened at the prospect of seeing Finny? On the bottom of page in the 2nd column, Finny may actually know what has happened, or he may be covering it up. What would be his motivation for covering it up? On page what kind of a feeling do you think Finny had? Give examples to defend your answer. Predict what it is that Gene was going to tell Finny. Close to the end of page predict why Gene is going to see Finny.
On page in the 2nd column, Gene is obviously expecting a traumatic reaction from Finny. The third paragraph from the bottom of this same page, what does this tell you about how Gene is feeling? On page have you begun to doubt your previous thoughts about Gene? What kind of injury does Gene think this might be causing Finny?
Discuss the difference between a physical injury and an emotional injury. What is worse and why? At the end of this chapter, what does Finny mean when he asks Gene if he is going to start living by the rules? Finny acts this way because he did not think that Gene had anything to do with him falling out of the tree and rather feels guilt that he had a feeling that Gene caused it.
As soon as Gene sees how Finny is acting towards him he becomes more anxious and asks Finny what was the reason that he fell. When asked this Finny says, "I don't know, I must have just lost my balance. It must have been that. I did have this idea, this feeling that when you were standing beside me, y-I don't know, I had a kind of feeling.
But you can't just say anything for sure from just feelings. And this feeling doesn't make any sense. It was a crazy idea, I must have been delirious. So I just have to forget it. After Finny says this Gene is pushed over the edge with guilt and is about to tell Finny the truth when he is interrupted by Dr. In this visit it is ironic because instead of Gene confessing and apologizing to Finny, Finny is the one who is feeling guilty and is the one who is telling Gene that he should have never felt that way even though his feelings were right.
Do you think this incident will permanently damage Gene's and Finny's friendship? Do you think Gene should have told Finny the truth in the beginning of the visit?