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A Book Reprort On A Separate Peace By Gene Forrester.

1055 words - 4 pages

A Separate Peace is told as a flashback by Gene Forrester. He returns to Devon, a private preparatory school that he had attended during World War II. He visits his old alma mater to specifically visit two spots on and near campus: the First Building and a tree beside the Devon River. His visit triggers a flashback to his experiences during the summer session when he was sixteen years old and an Upper Middler. The flashback is his coming of age story and his attempt to come to grips with his experiences at Devon and the world at large. Throughout the flashback, Gene, serving as the first person narrator, fights a war within himself.Gene remembers how he and Finny, his best friend and roommate, had gone near a large tree by the river one afternoon. Finny, who was by nature daring and spontaneous, suggested that the two of them jump from the tree. None of the younger boys had ever dared to do this feat before. Although Gene is frightened, he follows his friend's lead; he jumps because he does not want to be ridiculed by Finny. After the jumping incident, Finny organizes the Summer Suicide Society; all of the members of this society must jump from the tree into the river.Although friends, Gene and Finny are very different. While Gene is a good student, Finny is a good athlete, probably the best at Devon. Where Gene tends to be quiet and studious, Finny has a vibrant, outgoing, and daring personality. Finny is also very clever, always managing to get himself through any situation. It is not surprising that Finny is very well liked by both teachers and student. Gene absolutely idolizes him, considering him a hero; but Gene also is jealous and resentful of him. Gene's grades are suffering because he spends too much time with Finny. He is convinced that Finny is intentionally trying to make him a bad student.As the novel progresses, Gene's jealousy intensifies. In fact, his internal conflict develops to such a degree that it becomes an insanely destructive power that wants to destroy this "perfect" friend. On one occasion when he is in the tree with Finny, Gene purposely bounces the limb to make his friend fall out of the tree. Finny is seriously injured and must be taken to the hospital. The doctor announces that Finny's leg has been so badly broken that he will be partially crippled. Although he will be able to walk, he will never be able to play sports again.Gene's jealousy turns to fear and then to guilt. At first he worries that Finny suspects that he has caused the accident and will report that Gene has caused him to fall off the limb. To allay his fear, he goes to talk with Finny and finds that his friend trusts him completely and has no suspicion about what has happened to him. Gene then becomes riddled with guilt. He is relieved when the summer session is over, and he can go home for a break. On his way back to Devon after summer vacation, Gene stops to see the crippled Finny at his home. In order to relieve his...

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