On the way back Phineas and Gene play fight so that they are late for dinner. Chapter 2:Mr. Prud'homme, a master, stops by the boys' room to scold them for missing dinner again for the ninth time in two weeks. Phineas explains that they were late because they were jumping out of the tree to toughen up for the war. Mr Prud'homme, accepts the explanation because, he, and everyone else, feel sorry for the boys that will soon have to go to war. Chapter 3: The boys join The Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session.
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.
He is attending a special Summer Session at Devon, designed to speed up education to prepare the boys for the military draft in their senior year. Gene stands at the same tree with his best friend and roommate, Phineas (nicknamed Finny), and three other boys, Elwin Lepellier (Leper), Chet Douglass, and Bobby Zane. The tree seems enormous to Gene, but Finny suddenly decides to climb it and jump into the river, just like the Devon 17 year olds, who are training for military service. Finny jumps and dares Gene to follow. Against his better judgment, Gene climbs the tree and also jumps, but the three others refuse.
After arriving at the river, the two creep out on one of the tree's limbs. Balancing as if they were on a tightrope, Gene gives a quick little bounce to the limb, causing Finny to plummet to the riverbank below, severely breaking his leg. No one is aware of Gene's intentional bounce of the tree limb, encouraged by his resentment toward Finny. Gene's jealous action causes Finny's life to change forever. He feels terrible about what he did but cannot bring himself to tell Finny the truth.
Looking back on the experience, Gene believes that he was never very interested in the war because he was waging his own personal war between the acceptance of the clearly defined prep school values and Finny's laid-back values. He had killed his enemy at school. Knowles' book focuses on the adolescent period of life. Adolescence is a very confusing time of life, primarily because a person fluctuates from wanting to be a child and being innocent to wanting to be an adult and questioning life. Knowles emphasizes that both worlds of adolescent and adult life share many similarities and overlap often--they are not separate entities.
Finny, then, persuaded the other boys to jump off the tree into the river after he jumps. Gene jumped into the river even though he’s scared because of Finny’s persistence. After the two boys jumped, the other three refuses to do the jumping, so they headed back for dinner. Into their way back, the 2 best friends wrestle with one another and missed dinner. Consequently, they went straight to their rooms.
For example, Gene and Finny spent the summer of 1942 climbing and jumping off a tree that the upperclassmen had used it to train for the war. Finny said that they were doing it to train for the war, but really just wanted to do it for fun. This is especially true because the grade above them were at the age where they could be drafted, however Gene and Finny were not. Another example is that it was against the rules to be climbing the tree, and Finny, Gene, and their friends got caught one day. Since the boys were only 16, the teachers knew that this group were not at risk for being drafted yet.
Work. Examinations'" (Knowles 49). Finny has come to tell Gene that one of the boys named Leper has finally decided to jump out of the tree into the river. Gene finally explodes and starts screaming at Finny. Gene tells Finny that he needs to study for the French final and that he cannot be wasting his time with a silly game.
Wanting to jump out of the tree shows the eagerness of younger boys wanting to play their part in the war, like a challenge to prove their manhood. Phineas jumps out of the tree and encourages Gene to do so as well; they are the only ones who jump out of the tree that day and it sparks a bond between them. World War II is an important part of this story because it forces Gene a... ... middle of paper ... ...ree. So much has changed since his childhood, but only now does he have the strength to face what had happened. Perhaps the tree was no longer so massive and menacing because like all obstacles we face in our youth, when returning to it, it always seems a bit silly to have been so competitive, or to have made such a huge deal, or become so emotional over something so small and insignificant in the scheme of things.
Friendship and Tragedy in John Knowles' A Separate Peace Some friendships last forever and others do not but in the novel, A Separate Peace (1959) by John Knowles, displays a different kind of friendship. The reader throughout this novel was very entertained. This novel takes place at the Devon Preparatory School in the years of 1942-1943. This story begins when Gene Forrester comes back to the Devon School fifteen years after his graduation to relive a tragic story. He walks up to a tree and the story then begins in the summer of 1942.