Part 1: Identifying
1.) Protagonists- In a story or movie the Protagonist(s) is/are the main character(s). In the story A separate Peace the protagonist is Phineas(Finny).
2.) Antagonists- In a story or movie the Antagonist(s) is/are the character or force in conflict with a main character, or Protagonist(s). In the story A Separate Peace the Antagonist is Gene.
3.) Setting- In a story or movie the Setting is the time & place of the action. In the story A Separate Peace the setting is at the Devon School.
4.) Mood- In a story or movie the Mood is the feeling created n the passage. In the story A Separate Peace the mood is sad because jealousy ruined Gene & Finny’s friendship.
5.) Conflicts- In a story or movie the Conflict is a struggle between opposing forces. There are two types of Conflicts: Internal ; External. An Internal Conflict involves a character in conflict with himself or herself. In the story A Separate Peace the Internal Conflict is Gene vs. himself. In an external conflict, the main character struggles against an outside force. In the story A Separate Peace the External Conflict Gene vs. Finny.
6.) Suspense- In a story or movie the Suspense is the feeling of curiosity or uncertainty about the outcome of events. In the story A Separate Peace the Suspense is when Gene shakes the tree limb ; Finny falls ; shatters the bone in his leg.
Part 2: Elements of plot
1.) Exposition- In a story or movie the exposition is the background information, which sets the scene for the conflict. In the story A Separate Peace the exposition is the following: At the beginning of the story Gene has been out of school for fifteen years ; has decided to come back ; visit. While visiting he saw the tree that Finny ; he had jumped from into the Devon so many years a go, which brought back a lot of memories. He then remembers the Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session. That was the club that Finny came up with.
To be in the club you had to jump off a high tree limb ; into the Devon. Since Finny was a daredevil, he decided to go first. Gene was an intellectual ; was afraid to jump, but he jumped anyway. They were then late for supper, which had been noted by Mr. Prud’homme.
The next morning Mr. Prud’homme came to Gene ; Finny’s room because missing supper was against the rules. Finny tried talking his way out of it & achieved successfully.
Later on that day Gene & Finny had tea with Mr.Patch-Withers & his wife. After having tea with Mr. & Mrs. Patch-Withers, Gene & Finny went to jump out of the tree together, but Gene lost his balance. Gene almost fell, but didn’t because Finny grabbed him before he fell. That’s how they came up with the Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session. They began initiating guys who wanted to be in the Society every night, even though Gene hated it.
Finny decided to try & break the “100 Yards Free Style”. To Gene & his surprise he broke the record. Gene was going to go & get someone to come & witness the record breaking again, but Finny didn’t want anyone to know except for Gene. Finny just wanted to prove to himself that he could do it. Now he knew that he could do it!
Later on that day Finny decided that he wanted to go to the beach, even though it was hours away by bicycle ; risking expulsion ( being expelled). They began their long journey to the beach. Finny told Gene that he was his best pal. They fell asleep on the beach. The next morning Finny wanted to go for a short swim, but it would take the boys about three hours to get back to the school.
It was seven o’clock then & Gene had a trigonometry test at ten o’clock. When they got back to Devon School, Gene took the test ; failed it. Gene blamed Finny for him failing his test. That way they would be even because Gene hated Finny for breaking the school record ; Finny hated Gene for making an A in every class except for the last term. Gene believed that Finny deliberately set out to wreck his studies.
2.) Conflict- In a story or movie the Conflict is a struggle between opposing forces. In the story A Separate Peace the conflict is Gene’s jealousy of Finny vs. Finny’s jealousy of Gene.
3.) Rising action- In a story or movie the rising action is all of the events leading up to the climax. In the story A Separate Peace the rising action is when Gene becomes very jealous of Finny ; jumps to the conclusion that Finny was jealous of him ; so he deliberately made him fail his test so that he wouldn’t have an A in all of his courses. Later on that night the Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session had an initiation. Both Finny & Gene had to jump out of the tree & into the Devon.
4.) Climax- In a story or movie the climax is a high point of interest or suspense. In the story A Separate Peace the climax is when Gene deliberately made the limb shake so that Finny would lose his balance & fall out of the tree.
5.) Falling Action- In a story or movie the falling action is action that lead to the resolution. In the story A Separate Peace the falling action is that after Finny fell out of the tree he shattered the bone in his leg & since he was an athlete, he wouldn’t be able to play sports again. Finny soon went back home. Leper Lepellier went into the army. Sometime after Finny went home, Gene went ; visited him. Gene told Finny about what he had done, but Finny didn’t believe him.
Later on Finny went back to school & started training Gene for the 1944 Olympics. Finny came up with the idea of having a winter carnival. He got a lot of the guys together & gave them different jobs to do to get ready for the carnival. During the carnival, Gene received a telegram from Leper saying that he had escaped from the army & was now at home. So after the carnival, Gene went & visited with Leper. After his visit with Leper, Gene went back to school Finny & the rest of the guys were having a snowball fight. Brinker said that he had seen Leper at school & then began calling Leper crazy. Gene & he began talking about Finny & Leper.
Dr. Stanpole came & took Finny into the infirmary & worked on his healing leg. That night Gene snuck in Finny’s room because he felt that he should be there. He went ; saw Finny the next morning ; said that Finny was in high spirits.
6.) Resolution- In a story or movie a Resolution is the End of the central conflict. In the story A Separate Peace the resolution is that Finny died while Dr. Stanpole was setting his bone. The marrow somehow escaped into his blood stream, went to his heart ; stopped his heart.
Part 3: Characterization
1. Gene- Intellectual
2. Phineas(Finny)- very athletic
3. Brinker Hadley- the hub of the class
4. Elwin(Leper Lepellier)- very crazy
5. Chet Douglass- a friend of Finny ; Gene
6. Bobby Zane- a friend of Finny ; Gene
7. Mr. Prud’homme- a substitute master
8. Mr. Patch-Withers- another substitute master
9. Mrs. Patch-Withers- Mr. Patch-Withers’ wife
10. Dr.Stanpole- The Doctor who took care of Finny.
11. Cliff Quackenbush- crew manager
12. Mr.Ludsbury- another master
13. Brownie Perkins- Brinker’s roommate
14. Mr. Hadley- Brinker’s father
Part 4: Theme
Theme: Don’t take a friendship for granted.
References: Gene let his jealousy ruin his friendship with Finny. He hurt Finny both mentally & physically by being jealous of him. He took his friendship for granted & he lost his best friend.