"A Separate Peace" takes places in the middle of World War II in the town of Devon, New Hampshire in1942. Throughout the story Gene is constantly in conflict with someone. He always stands up for his friends, but also goes against what he knows is right to prove himself to Finny. The story "A Separate Peace" by John Knowles is a story of war symbolized by Gene Forrester's conflicts and rivalries with the peoplehe interacts with especially Finny, a major character, and Cliff Quakenbush. Leper Lepellier, and Brinker Hadley, minor characters.
The tree represented the war for Gene and Finny, and also was the cause of their first real conflict. They saw all the seniors going off to war and they thought of the war as something dangerous. They also saw jumping from the tree as something dangerous. "Finny knew, if he stopped to think, that jumping out of the tree was even more forbidden than missing a meal.
'We had to do it naturally,' he went on, 'because we're all getting ready for the war.'" (Knowles 15) Then Finny came up with the Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session where he and Gene had to jump from the tree every night. Gene was always the academically inclines of the two friends and it never occurred to him that he could do anything so perilous. In Gene's own way he was fighting his own war because he had to build up all his courage in order to jump from the tree. If Gene had not jumped then he would be inferior to Finny.
In Gene's mind Finny was his enemy because Finny always shined at sports. Gene was always jealous. Gene might never have known he was feeling jealous but somewhere deep down in Gene this jealousy...