Annotation Assignment: A Separate Peace

Annotation Assignment: A Separate Peace

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1. Chapter 1, page 1, #2: “I didn’t entirely like this glossy new surface”

Analysis: This quote shows that the setting was at one point different to the author. It was not glossy and new.

2. Chapter 1, page 4, #2: “Devon is sometimes considered the most beautiful school in New England, and even on this dismal afternoon its power was asserted.”

Analysis: This quote showing setting can be closely related to the character Finny. Much like the school, Finny is beautiful even in the midst of some of his hateful classmates.

3. Chapter 1, page 5, #3: “Moving through the soaked, coarse grass I began to examine each one closely, and finally identified the tree I was looking for by means of certain small scars rising along its trunk, and by a limb extending over the river, and another thinner limb growing near it.

Analysis: This setting shows in detail a location which is directly tied to the author. He remembers the tree in such detail because this was the place were the main conflict in his life took place.


1. Chapter 3, page 5, #3: “A little fog hung over the river so that as I neared it I felt myself becoming isolated from everything except the river and the few trees beside it. The wind was blowing more steadily here, and I was beginning to feel cold.”

Analysis: This quote has the affect of creating a foreboding mood as if something dreadful is about to happen to gene and the landscape is warning him.

2. Chapter 2, page 18, #3: “It was hypnotism. I was beginning to see that Phineas could get away with anything.”

Analysis: This quote is based on the theme of envy. It is clear that Gene feels that Phineas can get away with anything. The reader can tell that Gene hate him because of this.

3. Chapter 3, page 29, #1: ““Blitzkrieg”, repeated Finny doubtfully. “We could figure out some kind of blitzkrieg baseball,” I said. “We’ll call it blitzkrieg ball,” said Bobby. “Or just blitzball””

Analysis: This quote shows the theme of microcosm. The boys are so isolated from the rest of the world and the war, that they do not understand fully the horrors of war. So much so that they name a game after a German tank invasion were thousands of people died.

4. Chapter 5, page 53, #1: “I couldn’t figure out exactly what this word meant, whether It meant broken in one or several places, cleanly or badly, and I didn’t ask.

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Analysis: This quote creates a mood of fear and confusion inside Gene. It is apparent that gene is confused yet at the same time so afraid of the real answer that he does not want to ask.

5. Chapter 5, page 59, #4: “I reached Boston seventeen hours behind schedule; there would be prestige in that at Devon, where those of us from long distances with travel adventures to report or invent held the floor for several days after vacation.”

Analysis: This theme shows the theme of microcosm. The reader must realize this book is going on in the midst of the middle of the war. Yet these boys talk of going on vacation in their summer time. Which shows they are apart of their own “world”.

6. Chapter 8, page 98, #4: “”So,” Brinker curled his lip at me, “your little plot didn’t work so well after all.” “What’s he talking about?” said Finny as I thrust his crutches beneath his shoulders. “Just talking,” I said shortly. “What does Brinker ever talk about?”

Analysis: This quote creates an uneasy mood in Gene when he is put on the spot by Brinker. Gene knows what Brinker speaks of is partially true but he tries to suppress these thoughts and hide it from Finny.

7. Chapter 8, page 107, #5: “That kept the people who were young in the thirties in their places. But they couldn’t use that trick forever, so for us in the forties they’ve cooked up this war fake.”

Analysis: This quote shows the theme of microcosm. The boys are so isolated from the rest of the world that they are able to come up with such ludicrous ideas as a fake war. Where as, anywhere else they would be scolded for trying to deny the war.

8. Chapter 10, page 134, #5: “His face resumed its dull expression. The responsibility for continuing the conversation, since I had forced it to be superficial, was mine. “How log will you be here?””

Analysis: This quote shows the tense mood that is in the air as Gene creates an awkward situation with Lepper. It seems that Gene must go through great lengths just to continue the conversation.

9. Chapter 11, page 169, #2: ““you get the rest of the facts, Brinker!” he cried. “You get all your facts!” I had never seen Finny crying, “You collect every f---ing fact there is in the world!” He plunged out the doors”

Analysis: This quote shows the distressed mood Finny is in. He is so distressed that he starts crying and curses at Brinker. Gene also notes that this is the first time he has seen Finny crying.

10. Chapter 3, page 40, #1: ““…the proper person is your best pal.” He hesitated and then added, “Which is what you are,””

Analysis: This quote shows the theme of friendship. As the two boys lay on the beach, Finny has the courage to say such a powerful thing and admit that Gene is his friend.


1. Chapter 1, page 3, #2: “The marble must be unusually hard. That seemed very likely only too likely, although with all my thought about these stairs this exceptional hardness had not occurred to me.

Analysis: This quote hints at future events that may happen on the marble staircase. It is apparent by Gene’s observation of the hardness of the staircase. This would normally not be an important thing to observer.

2. Chapter 7, page 80, #5: “In our free democracy, even fighting for its life, the truth will out.”

Analysis: This quote shows that the truth will eventually be told either through Brinker’s further attempts, or Gene’s internal struggle.

3. Chapter 9, page 118, #2: “He lowered the paper, gazed in a visionary way in front of him, and then remarked, “That was Leper, of course.””

Analysis: In this quote, Brinker’s wording hints that Leper has changed since they last saw him. This is achieved when Brinker says “That was Leper,”


1. Chapter 1, page 6, #4: “The tree was tremendous, an irate, steely black steeple beside the river.

Analysis: In the novel the tree symbolizes a great barrier that Gene must pass. He is afraid of it yet is forced to climb with Phineas every day. Its ominous appearance symbolizes the terrible things that occur there.

2. Chapter 3, page 29, #2: ““Let’s make it have something to do with war,”…”We could figure out some kind of blitzkrieg baseball,” I said.”

Analysis: The game of Blitzball is the boy’s manifestation of the war. Because they are not affected by the war yet they know about it, they invent a game that symbolizes it and brings them as close as they can come to the realities of war.

3. Chapter 6, page 71, #3: “”Listen you maimed son of a bitch…” I hit him hard across the face. I didn’t know why for an instant; it was almost as though I were maimed.”

Analysis: In Gene’s mind, the word “maimed” is associated with the incident at the tree that causes Finny to become maimed. It creates bad thoughts and internal conflicts within Gene. This is why he becomes as angry as the word is mentioned.

4. Chapter 7, page 89, #3: “They seemed to be having a wonderful time, their uniforms looked new and good; they were clean and energetic; they were going places.”

Analysis: This image of the clean shaven soldiers symbolizes what the boys believe they will become if they enlist in the war. It shows there false reality and their ignorance.

5. Chapter 10, page 136, #4: “They give you a Section Eight discharge, like a dishonorable discharge only worse. You can’t get a job after that.”

Analysis: The section eight discharge symbolizes the death of Lepper’s social life. He knows that in the future he will have no hope for a job a family or a wife. He must constantly stay hidden or face the discharge from the army that will taint his reputation forever.


1. Chapter 6, page 77, #1: “…and a soaring sense of freedom revealed that this must have been my purpose from the first; to become a part of Phineas”

Analysis: This quote shows the main element in the novel. Throughout the novel Gene is extremely jealous and tries to be like Finny. His jealousy drives him to do extraordinary things such as attempting to take the role of Finny. He systematically does this indirectly throughout the novel without truly realizing what he is doing.

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