He is thoughtful and intelligent, with a competitive nature and a tendency to brood. He develops a love-hate relationship with his best friend, Finny, whom he alternately adores and envies.
Although he is a capable athlete and an excellent student, Forrester is unable to prevent the dark side of his inner self from perverting and distorting his enjoyment of the world and the people around him.
As Forrester admits to himself in chapter 7, he always finds something bad in the things around him; or, if he does not find it, he invents it. This proclivity, clearly the product of a subconscious force, results in paranoia.
At one point in the novel, Forrester entertains the absurd idea that Finny is deliberately trying to destroy his scholastic success even though Finny is obviously unconcerned. Finny may symbolize the kind of person Forrester wishes he could be; Finny is an almost complete opposite of Forrester, a natural athlete and a complete individualist, interested in immediate and innocuous personal pleasures.
Against the confining background of the Devon School strictures, Finny constructs his own world out of his imagination: Whereas Forrester is all calculation, Finny is all spontaneity.
Like Forrester, Finny represents an extreme. At the end of A Separate Peace, Finny is forced to confront a world he cannot physically dominate or imaginatively reshape.
The other characters in the novel are simple foils to Forrester and Finny, although both Brinker Hadley and Leper Lepellier represent two other ways of coping with oneself and the external world. Hadley is a walking personification of a conservative, law-abiding mentality.
He monitors the order at Devon School and always does things logically: For example, when the Devon term is over, he will enlist because that is the correct path of action. Significantly, however, when Finny reappears at Devon, Forrester immediately gravitates toward his old friend and all the complex things that Finny represents to him.
Leper Lepellier is an even less influential character, whose dominating personal characteristic is a romantic form of eccentricity. A passive creature, Leper derives his pleasures through such pursuits as snail collecting, sketching outdoor scenes, or awakening in the place where the sun first shines on the continental United States.
Then, when the war fervor changes the nature of the outside world, Leper is the first to enlist. He pays a significant price for his impulsive brand of romanticism; at boot camp, he suffers a nervous breakdown from which he does not fully recover in the novel.
Still, it is Leper who forces the boys at Devon to acknowledge the harsh realities awaiting them outside the walls of the Devon School.A list of all the characters in A Separate Peace. The A Separate Peace characters covered include: Gene Forrester, Finny, Leper Lepellier, Brinker Hadley, Cliff Quackenbush, Chet Douglass, Mr.
Ludsbury, Dr. Stanpole, Mr. Patch-Withers.
1 A Separate Peace by John Knowles Chapter 1 I went back to the Devon School not long ago, and found it looking oddly newer than when I was a student there fifteen years before.
Gene Forrester. Gene is the novel’s narrator, and he tells the story as a flashback, reflecting on his days at the Devon School from the vantage point of adulthood. John Knowles’ A Separate Peace: In the book A Separate Peace by John Knowles, one of the main themes is the effects of realism, idealism, and isolationism on Brinker, Phineas, and Gene.
Refresh your memory of "A Separate Peace" by John Knowles with this list of characters and analysis.
We'll start with the narrator, Gene Forrester, who shares the details of a story he doesn't quite understand the significance of. Need help on characters in John Knowles's A Separate Peace?
Check out our detailed character descriptions. From the creators of SparkNotes.