A Separate Peace

Powerful Essays
A Separate Peace

A Separate Peace is a novel by John Knowles that is about prep school experiences during World War II. This book was a good story about an adolescents attempt to understand the world and himself. I enjoyed reading about Gene's journey towards maturity and the adult world.

This book takes place in Devon School, New Hampshire during a summer session when Gene Forrester was sixteen years old. One day Gene and Finny, his friend and roommate, went to a large tree by the river. Finny suggested that they try and jump from the tree into the river below them. This jump was usually for older boys. But they both made the jump successfully, and Finny formed the Summer Suicide Society, which is dedicated to members being initiated by jumping from the tree to the river. Each time, Gene and Finny must go first, but Gene always has a fear of jumping.

Finny always was considered the best athlete in school, and Gene tried to counterbalance by being the best student. After a while of joining Finny's activities, Gene thinks that Finny is intentionally trying to make him fail out of school. He starts to dislike Finny and his activities, and Gene starts interrupting his schoolwork to jump from the tree more and more often. On one occasion, he thoughtlessly jounces the limb and Finny falls and breaks his leg.

Finny's leg is so shattered that he will not be able to play sports again. Gene is scared that Finny will tell that he intentionally pushed him off the tree. After his first visit to the infirmary, Gene realizes that Finny trusts Gene completely and would never accuse Gene. After summer vacation was over, Gene gu...

... middle of paper ... However painful, Gene is made a better person during his maturation through his suffering. Through his pain and awful revelations about himself, Gene matures from an insecure child to a self-knowledgeable adult.

The significant quote that I chose for "A Separate Peace," is when Brinker says to Gene: "There is a war on, here's one soldier our side has already lost. We've got to find out what happened." This remark relates to me because is determining and shows leadership. He is determined to find out what happened and he will do whatever it takes to find out even if he has to break up a friendship. I would have done the same thing. If I had a friend, and he or she was intentionally pushed from a tree because someone was jealous of him or her, I would become angry and agitated until I got to the bottom of it.
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