|A Separate Peace: Of Friendship, War, and Peace
Friendship from Finny’s perspective
Same—energetic (105); Finny is still a leader “shouldn’t have left you around” (103);
Differences—He’s now grooming Gene for what he can’t do. Training for the Olympics (117); afraid to reconnect (109).
Why does he not believe in war? Doesn’t want Gene to leave, so he convinces Gene there is no war.
--Denial—he can no longer be in the war, so he denies it.
--Finny still needs Gene “he needed me” (108).
--Convinces Gene not to enlist in the war.
Friendship from Gene’s perspective
How is Finny good for Gene—(117) Finny motivates Gene to do 30 pull ups; (104-105) Finny does not want help but accepts Gene’s
Hold on Gene’s life—(117) training for Olympics—tells doesn’t ask; stops him from enlisting; (108) Gene realizes he’s the bigger person
Finny’s injury forces Gene to find his own rhythm.
Gene’s reaction to visiting Leper
Gene is now afraid of joining the war (144);
Gene’s trip to Leper’s is exactly what his experience in the army turns out to be—nightmare wandering (138).
Gene reacts defensively with Leper’s story because of fear of mental health (151).
He refuses to listen so he runs from fear
How does Leper’s story reflect Gene in some way?
War from Leper’s perspective
Leper joins because of the documentary about ski troops, and he thought he would enjoy it.
He wants to be different—marches to the beat of his own drum. He was the first recruit from Devon
He doesn’t interact with other people he’s always by himself.
Gene was not surprised by Leper’s enlistment
Leper doesn’t take command well—he does his own thing so
Gene is Leper’s “Best friend” because Gene talks to Leper
Gene and Leper need each other in a way
War from the perspective of young men at Devon
Gene is a coward, follower, and is easily swayed.
Leper’s views—Gene no longer wants to go to war; Leper no longer wants to be in the war. His view changes after being in the war.
Leper is the reality of war
Finny’s conspiracy theory—jokester;
Peace from the perspective of young men at Devon
“It wasn’t cider which made me surpass myself, it was this liberation we had torn from the gray encroachments of 1943, the escape we had concocted, this afternoon of momentary, illusory, special and separate peace” (137). The winter carnival is a one day imaginary peace created by Finny. All of the boys at Devon want peace from the war. They represent peace during the war. Devon (Finny) are separate.
Finny’s peace is denial
Gene’s peace is finding himself