A Separate Peace –John Knowles by jizhen1947


									A Separate Peace –John Knowles

Chapter 1
1. Setting
   1957, Fall -November (15 years after       Flashback 1942, Summer
   WWII)                                      session (WWII)
    Devon, New Hampshire (New                 Devon River/ Tree
       England)                                Mood = cheerful, fun-
                 i. Most beautiful school        loving, risky
Setting affects Mood =                         Gene’s mood
     Weather “Self-pitying”                      questioning, resentful
     houses are “defensive”
     “Fearful sites”
    Narrator = scared changed,
       more mature, “secure”, different

2. Narrator
    Revisit “fearful sites”  stairs, tree  Devon school
    Face, overcome, recover from his fears

3. Phineas –Finny -hynotist
    Characterized as an athletic boy
          Dare-devil  dares Gene to jump off a tall tree
          Rebellious dare them to jump, also miss dinner, break rules
          Popular  “travels with the size of a hockey team”
          “The best athlete in Devon school”
          Leader pressures others, Self centered
    Gene feels resentment towards Finny
          Pressures G into jumping from the tree
    Room mates, best friends, “frenemy” (friend-enemy)
               i. Competitive, pushy-defensive

4. Foreshadowing
    Visiting Devon School  maybe something happened there
    “Sedate” in 1957 (future), relieved, changed
         “The more things remain the same, the more they change after
          “Nothing endures, not a tree, not love, not even a death by
           violence.” past events told in flashback

5. Imagery (I), Contrast (C), Symbolism (S)
    Foil characters: Gene vs. Finny
    Symbolism: places he visited: tree, stairs, river

Chapter 2
6. Contrast Seasons sessions
Winter                                  Summer
 More strict rules                      Masters = mellow, calm, lenient,
 Stringent schedules                      lax
 “more regimented”                      Boys skipped dinner bc of
 serious                                  wrestling
                                         Got aways with jumping off the
                                           tree (Mr. Prud’homme)
                                         Got away w/ pink shirt (war
                                         F even wore school tie as a belt
                                           (Mr. Patch-Withers)

7. Characterization of Phineas
words              specifics
 confident         Wore pink shirt, tie, plays badminton he does not
   /rebel              care what others think
 Humble,           Broke swimming record, did not want anybody to
   modest &            know, even made Gene promise not to tell; he just
   ambitious           wanted to prove that he can to himself
 creative/leader/  Created blitzball and also Super Suicide Society of the
 persuasive           Summer Session rules

8. Gene’s feelings about Finny
feelings             support
 Admiration/envy  Got away with everything; “not conniver”
 jealous             Makes up valid excusesamused by him
 close friend        Involves Gene in his popularity
 competitor          Doesn’t want to lose face w/ F

9. Characterization revealed thru athletic events
Athletic events        Significance about Finny’s attitude
 blitzball             Made it up, Best at it, athletic, he’s in charge of the
 swimming                 rule everyone is your enemy preparing for war
 Badminton             Breaks record & doesn’t tell
 Tennis, softball,  Badminton: Not a contact sport, still wanted to play
   hockey, football        reveals his confidence
***Finny is a genuine and sincere person.
***Finny is really excited & confident about going to war soon (training for
war) & living life to the fullest before he has to go

Chapter 3
 Setting (beach) reveals Mood
Lawless                                  Idyllic
 Cut class                               Enjoy the day by…
 “going there risked expulsion”          Lay down on the sand
 “test next morning” pg. 46              “Salty adventurous” “flirting
 Had beer                                  wind”
                                          Enjoyed nature –picnicked, swam
                                            in ocean, watched the sky &

10.Gene’s psyche –Point of View –Internal Conflict?
         Wanted F to fail
         Didn’t want to lie to F
         Surprised & shocked at what F is able to convince him to do
         Felt Peer-pressured
   11.Gene does not trust Finny.
         Gene doesn’t feel the same as Finny does
         Doesn’t want to lie
         Distrusts Finny’s genuine feelings

Chapter 4
12. Gene’s attitude –dramatic turnabouts –then realization/ epiphany
      Loyal/ envious           jealous/ resentful       guilt/ inferior
         F shared his limelight w/ G
                  i. Best friend, buddy, co-chair of Suicide Society, popular
      (jealous/ resentful)
       F was enemy  “they were even in enmity.” (hatred, bad feeling)
                  i. Wanted G to fail in his academic studies
                 ii. Tried to get G to stay out, not study to ruin his chances of
                     becoming Valedictorian
                iii. So F can look better and win in this war-like relationship
                iv. G tried harder to study
      Then F saw G needed to study, did not come easily to get high
      grades, and encourage G to study instead
      G realized his unworthiness as a friend
      (guilt/ inferior)
       F is on his, Gene’s, side
                  i. G realizes F is better than himself
                 ii. They are NOT “even in enmity”
                iii. G is the evil one; F is not his enemy

13. At the end of Chapter 4, Gene is most scare of:
          That Gene himself is his own enemy?
          That he is NOT better than F at all?
          That he was not worthy?
          That Finny is REAL & GOOD & PEACE
          And Gene is WAR, COMPETITION, and BAD?
      Gene jounced the limb of the tree causing F to fall  WHY??
     Then Gene jumps after Finny with “sureness” (what does this mean?)

14. Gene tries on Finny’s clothes
         To be close to him?
         To act like him? –pretends to be a nobleman, some Spanish
            grandee “I was Phineas, Phineas to the life.”
         Becomes more confident like F?
         To escape himself his own nature/ problems?
         “…illusion was gone, and I was confronted with myself, and
            what I had done to Finny.” Reality
     Do you think Finny knows/ would believe Gene did it deliberately?

15. Gene visits F at infirmary & at home in Boston.
   (Irony & Finny’s Romantic Outlook)
Infirmary –“It’s a tragedy.”          Finny’s home
   G is the one person F asked for      F thinks G is loyal to F because
   Dr. Stanpole: “Sports are              he came to visit
     finished for him…”                  G tried to tell F the truth, “I
   “As a friend, you ought to help        jounced the limb so you would
     him face that and accept it.”         fall off”
   Pg. 65: G asks F what happened       F: “Of course you didn’t…I’ll
   F = Truthful & Loyal: “I’m             kill you if you don’t shut up!”
     sorry about the feeling I had.”     G realizes “I was injuring him
   Gene knows F is better person          again…an even deeper injury.”
     bc he would “never accuse a        
     friend of a crime if you only
     have a feeling he did it.”
   G did not tell Finny about sports
     being over for him

16. Predictions:
    Finny may want revenge –won’t be Gene’s friend anymore
    Finny will not trust Gene completely as he did before
    Gene again tries to hurt Finny

Chapter 6 –“Peace has deserted Devon.”
–Symbolism + Foreshadows something bad
Tone = gloomy, ominous Mood = depressing, sad

17. Devon River vs. Naguamsette River
Devon River Summer                 Naguamsette River Fall
  Represent Finny & Summer            Rough, dirty, turbulent, lets out
     session                            into the ocean, cold
  Fresh, clear, calm, nice,           Represents Gene & Fall session
  Where the boys had fun in the

    teachers are stricter  Mr. Lubsbury “boys took advantage of the
    Rules are now enforced
    Time is running out (innocent, childhood) getting closer to face the
19. Cliff Quackenbush questions Gene’s presence in the crew team
    Called Gene a “maimed son of a bitch”
    Gene took offense & stands up in honor of his friend, Finny
    Gene good character is emerging becoming a better person
      /friend like Finny was to him
20. Mr. Lubsbury says “boys took advantage of the summer.”
    This is ironic bc the boys SHOULD have fun in the summer
    They will join a war soon, and were just trying to live life to the
      fullest until then
    Adults are forcing the boys to grow up and follow rules, to conform
21.Gene realizes he always wanted to be like Phineas
    “I lost a part of myself to him…must have been my purpose from the
      first, to become a part of Phineas.”
    Finny told Gene, if he can’t play sports, then Gene will play for him.
    Gene feels renewed with purpose (to atone for his guilt?)
22.Irony of the buttroom
           Gene did make Finny fall but Brinker and others don’t
           Gene exaggerated the truth and now the boys think Gene’s
              joking and doesn’t believe it
23. The boys participate in the war effort twice.
Fall apple picking/harvest             Winter shovel snow off train
Had fun                                 Warcloser; reality
A joke                                  See faces of young men just like
                                        Miserable, cold, “gray” pg 97

24. Patterns = seasons metaphors for change, passage of time, characters
Summer                   Fall                     Winter
 Relaxed, lax rules      Rules back              Harsh rules
 Fun, idyllic, lawless  Stringent teacher        War effort#2 =
 Jump off tree into        attitudes                harsh reality check
   Devon river            Drafting closer; war  Spring comes
 Finny                     effort #1                drafting
                          Gene lost               Finny back; Gene
                                                     becomes Finny
Chapter 8
25. Finny returns to Devon
    “Peace had come back to Devon.” –Gene pg 109
    Back to old times Finny makes sure Gene does more than just
      studying and worrying about the future
    Finny’s dreams transferred to Gene
26. The metaphor of the wave has symbolism
    Wave = nature, time, war, reality, jealousy, resentment
    Foreshadowing a bigger wave to come
    Avoiding problems is temporary peace, but more powerful wave is
      sure to come
27. Finny interprets the war = romantic, optimistic, unrealistic =idealism
    War to F is a joke played by large men in gov’t to keep young men
    War is not real to Finny, refuses to believe in it
    Finny rejects the rules set by society
    pg. 120 -Gene is practicing for the Olympics
    realizes F is just human, not god-like
    Gene was able to “run circles around” F more confident
    Gene finds his stride –realizes he is capable of being just like Finny
Chapter 9
29. Leper’s theory of survival
    People must adapt to new environments & evolve the right way
    “Everything has to evolve or else it perishes.”
    Be ready for the next phase of life
    (Leper is a naturalist, loves beaver dams, nature walks, circuitous
      route skiing)
30.Leper enlists
    Wants to join ski troops after watching a movie (war propaganda)
    Leper = older than other boys
    Would be drafted soon anyways
    Takes choice in his own terms = choice
31.The boys’ reaction to Leper’s enlistment:
    Surprised that leper is the first to enlist
    They made jokes about this, but still wonder if they themselves can
      live up to the standards of the army
    Sarcastic remarks about Leper being a war hero
    They believe Leper would not be able to survive
    Still hope he could be a hero, can survive (so they can)
    If Leper can do it, the boys can (made war/reality less serious)
32.Winter Carnival symbolic of = A Separate Peace
    Finny comes up with the idea for Devon
    Have it at the park next to Naguamsett river
    Main attraction = ski jump & sports
    Finny = lives in a world of fantasy, creates Devon’s first carnival,
      escape the fact war is going on
    =creates an illusion & separate peace for Devon & boys here
33. Brinker began a long, decisive sequence of withdrawals from school
   activities ever since Gene deserted his enlistment plan
    Brinker = follower in summer, leader in fall, fell apart in winter
    No longer want to enlist –became less self-sufficient
    Resigned presidency of Golden Fleece Debating Society
    Stopped writing for school newspaper
    Stopped participating in other committees
    Became unkempt
   No longer saw the reason for order & schedules if war is approaching
   without control
34. “It wasn’t the 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
     Stole & found peace during World War II
     Drunk on freedom
     Just one moment of escape will not last
     ESCAPE Will soon be drafted, time running out, worry about war,
       truth & reality
35.The carnival ends when Gene receives a telegram from Leper stating he
   had escaped. He is at Christmas location and needs Gene to help him to
    Boys return to reality reality check again
    Demands loyalty form Gene

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