A Separate Peace written by John Knowles tells the story of two friends in their quest through school, war, friendships, and death. As the story moves on, so does Gene’s and Finny’s friendship. It goes through many changes as the characters themselves change.
In the beginning of the story, Finny and Gene were inseparable. They were the founding members of The Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session. But soon, jumping out of the tree all the time got old for Gene. Finny wasn’t helping. He was obsessed over the idea of the Society. Then he started pulling Gene away from his schoolwork. Gene was upset by this and thought Finny was doing it on purpose – as a competition. Gene’s emotions were finally let out when he “nudged” the branch when Finny wanted to do a double jump. Finny fell from the branch and broke his leg. He was not allowed to be out for a while. When he was gone, Gene made up stories about Finny to show off in front of the other guys.
When Finny finally returned, their relationship was patched up for a short while. However, every once in a while there seemed to be hostility between the two. They would argue sometimes about the war, enlisting, and the 1944 Olympics. When the were at Leper’s place, Finny slipped on the marble floor above the stairs and fell down. He broke his leg again.
When he returned for the second time, he and Gene had some explaining to do with the other guys. They wanted to know what happened on the tree when Finny fell from it. Because Finny and Gene were trying to cover for each other, they never got the story straight. Because it was obvious that they were getting no answers, they called in Leper. He told everyone exactly what had happened. I think this whole ordeal made Gene and Finny even better friends.
I think that overall, Gene and Finny were best friends who would do anything for each other. That is why Gene always went with Finny on his excursions outside of schoolwork. When Finny died, he lost a great friend and he lost part of himself as well. I feel that that is why Gene returned to Devon when he was older. He was trying to fill a void that was missing in his life. However, I don’t know whether or not he succeeded. But I do know that he will never forget Finny, Devon, or the year 1944.