A Separate Peace

1959 Words8 Pages
In John Knowles’ novel A Separate Peace, it begins with the protagonist, Gene Forrester coming back to his alma mater the Devon School in New Hampshire. Wandering through the campus, Gene makes his way to a tall tree by the river; the reason for his return. From here he takes the reader back to the year 1942 during World War II when he was in high school. During the summer session of 1942, he becomes close friends with his daredevil roommate Finny. Finny is able to convince Gene into making a dangerous jump out of a tree into a river, and the two start a secret society based on this ritual. Gene slowly begins to envy Finny’s athletic capabilities and his innocence, and thinks that Finny envies him in return. Gene finally realizes…show more content…
A more obvious way of seeing his leadership is the way that he is described as “the hub of the class” (87). Hub is a synonym for the center of something, or the heart and core. If someone is described as the hub of the class, then it means that they are the person that keeps the class together. The final way I was able to see Brinker’s leadership was towards the end of the book. Even though he had transformed to a more rebellious way, there was still a sign of his authority when he had arranged the trial in the Assembly Hall. His wanting to know the truth that was hidden from him drove him to hold the meeting in order to find it.
Gene is definitely a dynamic and round character unlike Brinker who is a static and flat character. Gene changes very significantly in the story. He struggled a lot with finding himself and his identity, so much that he believes that he is a part of Phineas. Oddly enough, this sort of makes sense. One way to think about it is the guilt – Gene was so disgusted with himself for having caused Finny's accident that he can't bear to be himself, so he becomes someone else: Phineas. Another explanation is that because the struggle to define him is so difficult, he’s simply borrowed someone else's identity instead of creating one for himself. But once Finny is gone, Gene has to rely on himself to make decisions and make up his own rules. At the end of the novel as Gene is reflecting fifteen years later, he says that “[his war

More about A Separate Peace

Open Document