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.
Gene thinks this is Finny's way of trying to sabotage his grades. Finny says he thought that Gene never needed to study. Gene, somewhat appeased, goes to the jumping tree with Finny. Gene and Finny decide to do jump ... ... middle of paper ... ...the war, and how his friendship with Finny prepared him for his own experience. In lieu of Finny, he has finally adopted Finny's way of looking at things, and some of Finny's personality and rebelliousness.
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.
The two sixteen year olds attend Devon School, a private all boys' school, in New Hampshire. Finny, a very athletically talented youngster, continually but unintentionally causes Gene to feel inferior and insignificant, producing inevitable anger and jealousy inside Gene. During their summer session in 1942, the boys form a Super Suicide Society; anyone wanting to join the group is required to jump from a specific tree into the running river below. On one particular night, Finny tears the irritated Gene away from his studies for no reason other than to make a plunge from the tree. After arriving at the river, the two creep out on one of the tree's limbs.
To commemorate the bombing of Central Europe, Phineas wears a pink shirt as an emblem with “no one else in the school could have done so without some risk of having it torn from his back” (25). Pink is a feminine color, contrasting with the masculine society the boys live in. In spite of what others may think of him, Phineas is daring enough to wear a pink shirt.. Phineas “made a good jump” from the tree, establishing the Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session (31). The Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session is a club Gene and Phineas created that involves jumping out of the tree by the Devon River. With each jump holds a risk because of the number of possibilities that could occur if one were to slip or have a dangerous fall.
In the beginning of the novel, Gene and Finny jump from the tree into the river. Before Finny jumps he shouts, “Here’s my contribution to the war effort.” By this statement he means that by jumping out of the tree, they are training for the war. When they head back to Devon, the private school they’re attending, after jumping from the tree, Gene tackles Finny and they start to wrestle. Though this made them intentionally late for class, they managed to get out of it. This is mostly because they reminded them of peace, something very rare at the time.
With all his strength he finally got Old Dan Down for the second time. Billy thinks that God helped him in getting the tree to fall and catching the coon. This all happened when Billy promised his dogs that if they get the coon up the tree he would get the coon. So Billy thought of climbing the tree but it was to high. So he tried to cut the tree down.
He thought the rain cloud could never find him ugly for he too was gray and black as the night. Often the rain cloud asked Percy why he spent all his time in the cave and not in the forest with the other peacocks. But Percy would always just say he didn’t like the warmth from the sun in the forest. Percy knew this was safe because the rain cloud never went to the forest; only the sun and moon were allowed there. Then one day everything changed.
It wasn’t anything you really felt against ... ... middle of paper ... ...iendship between Gene and Phineas is amidst themes such as lack of reality, low maturity levels, and false appearances. Their relationship deteriorates and leads to death because they fail to learn these valuable life lessons. The purpose of Knowles’ novel is to exaggerate the life of two young boys to the extreme in order to reveal the unfortunate things that can occur in a relationship when these themes are not taken seriously. As stated in Magill’s Survey of American Literature, "It (A Separate Peace) can be viewed, for example, as a tale of Original Sin, with the Devon School as an Eden enclosing the great Tree of Knowledge through which humankind falls far from innocence but is redeemed by the suffering of a totally innocent one. It may also be approached as a reworking of the classic tale of the need to accept the potential evil within everyone and thus make peace with one’s self."
A Separate Peace; Chapter Summaries Chapter 1: The narrator (Gene) returns to the Devon School in New Hampshire, that he graduated from 15 years earlier. He goes to a certain tree and switches back to the past. Phineas dares everyone to jump from a branch in the tree into the river. Phineas, and Gene both jump. On the way back Phineas and Gene play fight so that they are late for dinner.