Wandering through the campus, Gene makes his way to a certain landmark which he cites as the reason for his return:
Walking through the campus in the cold November mist, Gene remembers his experiences at Devon during World War II, especially the Summer Session ofwhen he was 16 years old.
At a tree by the river, Gene thinks of his friend and roommate, Phineas nicknamed Finnythe best athlete in the school. As the story moves into the past, Finny jumps from a high limb of the tree into the river — an activity forbidden to all but the oldest Devon boys — and dares Gene to jump as well.
Gene jumps, but is frightened. Finny, however, takes such delight in the dangerous, forbidden jump that he forms the Suicide Society and invites all the Devon boys to test their courage by jumping from the tree into the river. At each initiation, Gene and Finny make the first jump, but Gene never gets over his fear.
Gene applies himself to his studies seriously, but feels pressure from Finny to join in his activities, especially the Suicide Society. After failing a math test because of a forbidden trip to the beach, Gene suspects that Finny is deliberately trying to sabotage his studying.
This silent resentment builds until the end of the summer, when Finny insists that Gene leave his books to jump from the tree again. High in the tree with his friend, Gene impulsively jounces the limb and causes Finny to fall. Without Finny around, Gene grows closer to Brinker Hadley, a student leader who teases him with the accusation that he got rid of Finny to have their room to himself.
Finny tells Gene that he must become an athlete for both of them and proposes to train him for the Olympics. When Gene tries to explain that the war will most certainly make the Olympics impossible, Finny announces that the war is a fake.
At a distance, Gene follows Finny to the infirmary, hoping to talk with him alone. Finny, however, will not talk with Gene until the next day, when he asks sadly if his friend really meant to hurt him or if it were simply an unconscious impulse.
Gene insists that he acted without hatred — blindly — and Finny accepts the explanation with relief. Later that day, in an operation to set the leg again, Finny dies when some marrow from the broken bone enters the bloodstream and stops his heart.
Gene accepts the news without crying, because he feels as if he has died, too.
Later, after the war, Gene looks back and understands that he fought his real war at Devon.Complete summary of John Knowles' A Separate Peace. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of A Separate Peace.
In the late s, 15 years after graduation, Gene Forrester returns to Devon, an elite prep school in New Hampshire. Walking through the campus in the cold November mist, Gene remembers his experiences at Devon during World War II, especially the Summer Session of , when he was 16 years old.
As Gene's training intensifies, the two boys regain their closeness and Gene gains a sense of internal peace that he's never before experienced.
One day, Finny proposes that the boys hold a Winter . Chapter 4 opens with the gray dawn and closes with a gray dusk, suggesting the symbolic unity of a single day (although a much greater time actually elapses).
It begins, too, with Finny coming to life as Lazarus and ends with the tragic fall that destroys his life.
The Summary of Every Chapter of the Book "A Separate Peace" by John Knowles. 2, words. 4 pages. The Changes in the Characters of Leper, Gene, and Phineas in A Separate Peace, a Novel by John Knowles A Summary of A Separate Peace by John Knowles.
words. 2 pages. An Anlysis of the Fall of Finny in John Knowles' A Separate Peace.
1, A summary of Chapter 1 in John Knowles's A Separate Peace. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of A Separate Peace and what it means.
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