Seasons in A Separate Peace

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Summer 1942
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Summer represents Paradise. Gene and Finny are key characters, Finny is individual, athletic, popular, godlike, Gene is smart, not as athletic, introverted, jealous. Finny is calm and at ease in actions but envies Gene’s logic. Gene envied Finny’s athleticism and thought they were rivals so he jounces the limb of the tree to make Finny fall. Gene’s anger symbolizes a bomb, Finny’s pink shirt symbolizes bombing in Europe, Gene is tied to war, tree symbolizes . In the beginning things are lighthearted, but it slowly gets darker.
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Fall 1942
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Quackenbush, Brinker, Gene, and Finny are the key characters. Climax occurs when Gene considers enlisting, the only chapter without Finny. Gene cannot admit to what he has done, Quackenbush pressures him, Brinker conducts the butt room incident, and Finny is ignorant and visited by Gene. Season revolves around the Devon River and the Naguamsett River. The Devon river symbolizes peace and childhood, while the Naguamsett River symbolizes pride. Gene and Quackenbush fall into the Naguamsett while fighting, which is Gene’s baptism from peace of Devon and his meeting with the real world. The butt room symbolizes a dungeon/hell.
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Winter 1942-1943
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Winter represents paradise lost. Key characters are Gene and Finny. Paradise is lost because Finny can no long compete in olympics, which is his dream. He trains Gene to compete because he can’t. Finny still doesn’t know Gene jounced limb. The Winter Carnival symbolizes peace. Burning of Iliad symbolizes denouncing war. Waves symbolize how the war affects the boys. The telegram is their connection to the war and proves that they cannot escape war.
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Spring 1943
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A time of harsh and healing truth. Starts with Gene visiting Leper, then the Kangaroo trial, climax is Bedside Confession, and denouement is Finny’s funeral/graduation. Leper, Gene, Brinker, and Finny are key characters. Marble stairs represent cold hard truth. Leper+Finny represent casualties of war. Finny symbolizes Caesar. Bedside Confession symbolizes peace treaty.

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