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A Separate Peace

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Although we have our own point of view on everything, they sometimes can change. This was no different to Gene and Finny, the main characters in A Separate Peace. Their view on the war changed as time progressed. They went from playful to oblivious, then finally to acknowledgment.

In the beginning of the novel, Gene and Finny jump from the tree into the river. Before Finny jumps he shouts, "Here's my contribution to the war effort." By this statement he means that by jumping out of the tree, they are training for the war. When they head back to Devon, the private school they're attending, after jumping from the tree, Gene tackles Finny and they start to wrestle. Though this made them intentionally late for class, they managed to get out of it. This is mostly because they reminded them of peace, something very rare at the time. To them, the beginning of the war was fun and simply playful.

After Finny falls out of the tree and breaks his leg, he starts saying that there is no war. Gene begins to agree with him. Later Gene finds out that Finny says this because now he can't enlist do to his leg. Finny then starts to train Gene for the 1944 Olympics since he can no longer go. Realizing there won't be a 1944 Olympics, They create their own. This whole time they were oblivious to the war, believing that it was false and that big old guys were making all this stuff up. If something happened in the war they would say that it was them, they're just playing tricks. They had an imaginative idea for every war related event they heard about.

It is only after Leper 'returns' from the war that they finally acknowledge it. They then realize that only a true war can change someone like the way Leper changed. When he left he was just like a normal kid, a little strange, but still just a kid. When he returned, however, he was practically insane. Hiding behind bushes and staying in his kitchen all day.



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