A Separate Peace
By John Knowles
The book A Separate Peace, by John Knowles tells about a sixteen-year-old boy named Gene Forrester who lives part of his life at Devon, an all boys' school. Devon was considered to be one of the most beautiful schools in New England. Gene experiences conflict with himself, because of his jealously over his friend Phineas, who was a handsome, daredevil athlete. Gene feels like Finny has power over him and was better then he was. "He (Finny) had never been jealous of me for a second. Now I knew that there never was and never could have been any rivalry between us. I was not the same quality as he".
First, in the beginning of the book Gene returned to Devon fifteen years later. Gene looks back at all the memories he shared at Devon with Finny and the rest of the boys at Devon.
Gene makes it a point to visit the tree and the marble stairs, which foreshadows what is to come up later in the story. Looking back on Gene's life the boys are in the summer session at Devon. One of the first examples of how Gene feels Finny has power over him is when Gene and Finny go to the tree and Finny gets the idea to jump off a tree. When no one else says they will jump, Finny asked Gene. Gene felt like he could not say no to Finny. So even though Gene was afraid to jump he jumped. "You can't stand around admiring the view. Jump!"
Next, Finny always convinced Gene to leave and go somewhere where there was a possibility of getting caught and in trouble. That was fun to Finny, knowing that he could get away with something without getting caught...