This novel delves into the topics many contemporary teenagers face, including internal conflict struggles with identity, the complexities of friendship, and the realities of peer pressure. Learn more with our engaging activities and lesson plan ideas!
A Separate Peace character analysis | Gene and Finny and the theme of friendship
Gene confesses to Finny that he knocked him out of the tree, but once he sees how badly he is hurting Finny, he takes it back. He doesn’t want to make Finny feel worse just to make himself feel better.
Gene was going to enlist in the Army with Brinker, but once Finny returns to school, he decides to stay with Finny instead.
When Finny returns to school, Gene agrees to train for the 1944 Olympics to take Finny’s place since Finny can’t play sports anymore.
Gene helps Finny plan and execute the Winter Carnival, a welcome distraction from the war and the winter doldrums that hit the boys around this time of year.
Gene tries to apologize to Finny when he is in the Infirmary, and before he dies, he is able to tell Finny that he didn’t jounce the limb out of hatred.
Gene’s friendship with Finny makes him a better person: he becomes more honest, less rigid about conforming to the world around him, and he continues to remember Finny, as evidenced by his return to the tree and the stairs 15 years later.