A Separate Peace Themes - Shmoop

One of the main focuses in the novel A Separate Peace is the friendship of Gene Forrester and Phineas. One would assume that two completely opposite people wouldn’t have such a strong relationship. They both have different views of the world. Where one would find strength the other finds weakness. With having two opposing personalities as the main characters, it’s easy for the reader to identify with one more than the other. It also gives the reader a chance to admire, as well as pity, both Gene and Phineas. One of the most important differences between Gene and Finny is their views of the world. Gene has a more cynical world view. On the other hand, Finny’s view of the world is very pure and naïve. Finny truly believes that everyone is good in the world. Another thing that sets Gene apart from Finny is their strengths and weaknesses. Gene is one of the top students of his class, while Finny just gets by with below average grades. But what Finny lacks in academic achievements, he makes up for in athletics. Finny also has the natural ability to lead others and has a non conforming attitude, whereas Gene is follower and has a more conforming attitude. As well as many other novels, A Separate Peace includes easily relatable characters. While reading the novel, I discovered that there are certain qualities of both Gene and Finny that I can identify with. After careful consideration, I realized that I most identify with Gene rather than Finny. He and I both are drawn to people with larger than life personalities. I can also relate to his insecure feelings that come with having friendships with those types of personalities. His strength in academics is another trait of his that I can identify with. Even though I identify more with Gene, I also pity him. I pity that his jealousy pushed him to do something so harmful to his supposed best friend. I also pity that fact that he doesn’t...

SparkNotes: A Separate Peace: Study Questions & Essay Topics

A Separate Peace EssayIn the novel, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Gene Forrester experiences internal and external conflicts. Gene has trouble finding out who he really during adolescences because he tries to be like his best friend, Finny. Gene becomes envious of Finny because Gene can"t be lik...


You will be answering one the following questions for this essay

A Separate Peace Prove the following statement: This novel is a good example of the coming of age genre

In John Knowles" A Separate Peace the characters must adapt to the lifestyle brought forth by World War II. ... After all, how many of the characters of A Separate Peace are alive and sane besides Gene? ...