Chapter 1 Gene Forrester, a man in his early thirties, returns after fifteen years to his prep school, the Devon School of New Hampshire.
Plot summary[ edit ] Gene Forrester, the protagonist, returns to his old prep school, Devon a thinly veiled portrayal of Knowles' alma mater, Phillips Exeter Academy fifteen years after he graduated, to visit two places he regards as "fearful sites": First, he examines the stairs and notices that they are made of very hard marble.
He then goes to the tree, which brings back memories of Gene's time as a student at Devon. From this point, the novel follows Gene's description of the time span from the summer of to the summer of Inhe was 16 and living at Devon with his best friend and roommate, Phineas nicknamed Finny.
At the time, World War II is taking place and has a prominent effect on the story. Gene and Finny, despite being opposites in personality, are close friends at Devon: Gene's quiet, introverted, intellectual personality is a character foil for Finny's extroverted, carefree, athleticism.
During his time at Devon, Gene goes through a period of intense kinship with Finny. One of Finny's ideas during Gene's "gypsy summer" of is to create a "Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session", with Gene and himself as charter members.
Finny creates a rite of initiation by having members jump into the Devon River from a large, high tree. Gene and Finny's friendship goes through a period of fun, one-sided rivalry during which Gene strives to out-do Finny academically, since he believes Finny is trying to out-do him.
This rivalry begins with Gene's jealousy towards Finny. This rivalry climaxes and is ended when, as Finny and Gene are about to jump off the tree, Gene impulsively jounces the branch they are standing on, causing Finny to fall and shatter his leg, permanently crippling him.
Because of his "accident", Finny learns that he will never again be able to compete in sports, which are most dear to him. This leads to Gene starting to think like Finny to try to be a better person and to try to solve some of his envy towards him.
The remainder of the story revolves around Gene's attempts to come to grips with who he is, why he shook the branch, and how he will go forward. Gene feels so guilty that he tells Finny that he caused Finny's fall.
At first Finny does not believe him and afterward feels extremely hurt. World War II soon occupies the schoolboys' time, with student Brinker Hadley rallying the boys to help the war effort and Gene's quiet friend Leper Lepellier joining the Ski Troops and becoming severely traumatized by what he sees.
During a meeting of the Golden Fleece Debating Society, Brinker sets up a show trial and, based upon his shaking of the branch, accuses Gene of trying to kill Finny.
Faced with the evidence, Finny leaves shamefully before Gene's deed is confirmed. On his way out, Finny falls down a flight of stairs the same ones Gene visits at the beginning of the novel and again breaks the leg he had shattered before. Finny at first dismisses Gene's attempts to apologize, but he soon realizes that the "accident" was impulsive and not anger-based.
The two forgive each other. The next day, Finny dies during the operation to set the bone when bone marrow enters his bloodstream during the surgery. Gene observes that many people lash out at others in order to protect themselves from their own insecurities, and the only person he knew who didn't do that was Finny, as he was the only person Gene knew who was truly honest, and who never had an internal war to fight.
Gene Forrester, a man in his early thirties, returns after fifteen years to his prep school, the Devon School of New Hampshire. He stops at Devon's main building and then walks down to look at a large tree by the Devon River The story shifts to World War II rages overseas, and the smart and. A Separate Peace study guide contains a biography of John Knowles, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. About A Separate Peace A Separate Peace Summary. John Knowles' novel ''A Separate Peace'' is a classic coming-of-age story, primarily concerning the friendship of two young men growing up during World War II. In this lesson, you will find a.
Back in the present, an older Gene muses on peace, war, and enemies.1 A Separate Peace by John Knowles Chapter 1 I went back to the Devon School not long ago, and found it looking oddly newer than when I was a student there fifteen years before.
A Separate Peace Chapter 3 Summary John Knowles. Homework Help Finny decrees that the Society should meet every night, and that he and Gene should open each meeting by jumping from the tree.
Gene Forrester, a man in his early thirties, returns after fifteen years to his prep school, the Devon School of New Hampshire.
He stops at Devon's main building and then walks down to look at a large tree by the Devon River The story shifts to World War II rages overseas, and the smart and.
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, Chapter 13 Characters See a complete list of the characters in A Separate Peace and in-depth analyses of Gene Forrester, Finny, Elwin “Leper” Lepellier, and Brinker Hadley. A Separate Peace is a novel by award-winning author John Knowles.
In this novel, Gene Forrester is a preparatory school student whose best friend is an outgoing and much beloved athlete named Phineas.