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A Separate Peace
Transcript of A Separate Peace
Brinker Hadley, a respected and popular student, visits Gene. He says that Gene got rid of Finny on purpose.
They go to the Butt Room, a room assigned for smoking at Devon. Gene jokes about the incident to suppress any rumors.
The students pick apples and volunteer to clear the railroad tracks. Leper stays behind and goes skiing.
When Gene and Brinker return Leper tells them that he went skiing to the river to see the beaver dam.
When Brinker and Gene are alone, Brinker tells Gene he is going to enlist.
Gene intends to enlist, but his plans fade suddenly when Gene sees that Finny has returned.
The snow symbolizes how fast Gene's life changes. For example, at the end of chapter 7 Gene says how fast the events the past day faded as soon as he saw Finny.
The snow also marks a transition in Gene from a follower to an independent person.
Symbolizes that the boys’ innocence is truly gone.
Shows that the story is starting to get darker.
Boys are closer every day to the violent hardships of adulthood during the war.
Leper stays away from the boys because he is not interested in fighting the war.
Uses blockades such as skiing in the forest or observing beaver dams.
Gene is a follower.
He has almost zero opinions and follows Finny.
He later turns bitter and then convinces him that their is a negative reason for everything Finny does.
The theme of this chapter is to that it is important to figure out who you are and what you want in life
Gene only discovers this in himself because of the long laborious days and all the time he has to think
Gene has lost himself as a person and becomes confused.
He becomes paranoid that people will find out about what he did.
He attempts to follow Brinker by deciding to enlist after him.
This thought is short-lived and last only till Finny arrives that day.
He is athletic and one of the best athletes in the school.
He is likeable and gets out of touch situations very often.
He is very modest about being athletic.
He is rebellious, sometimes going out of his way to go against the rules.
He is very adventurous.
He broke his leg when he fell out of the tree and can never play sports again.
He still remains loyal to his friend.
As well as being injured physically, he is hurt emotionally because Gene confesses he purposely shook the branch.
“The flaps of his gabardine jacket parted slightly over his healthy rump, and it is that, without any sense of derision at all, that I recall as Brinker’s salient characteristics, those healthy, determined, not over-exaggerated but definite and substantial buttocks.” – Gene
Further questions Gene’s motives in his relationship with Finny
Shows Gene’s attention to detail, especially in people’s physical characteristics.
“Well, first I stole all his money. Then I found that he cheated on his entrance tests to Devon I blackmailed his parents about that, then I made love to his sister in Mr. Ludsbury’s study, then I…” – Gene
Shows Gene’s quick transformation into an even more sarcastic individual
Gene is also beginning to develop some of Finny’s personality attributes
“Life at Devon was revealed as still very close to the ways of peace; the war was at worst only a bore, as Brinker said, no more taxing to us than a day spent at harvesting in an apple orchard.”- Gene
Gene’s peace of mind reveals that Devon does really create a sense of serenity even with WWII occurring at the same time
“Phineas was back.”
This makes Gene’s insecurity of Finny’s success evident (jealousy) and the truth
“That’s the kind of place I’m in with a world war going on, school for photographers of beaver dams.” – Brinker
This reveals that Brinker believes that Devon’s false sense of security is somewhat of an unearned luxury
Also, Brinker is more aware of the world around then most of Devon’s other students
“To enlist. To slam the door impulsively on the past, … to break the pattern of my life- that complex design I had been weaving since birth with all its dark threads, its unexplainable symbols set against a conventional background of domestic white and schoolboy blue, all those tangled strands which required the dexterity of virtuoso to keep flowing- I yearned to take giant military shares to it, snap!”- Gene
This describes Gene’s outlook on enlisting in the military: an abrupt and pleasing halt to life