We are then plunged into his memories of an idyllic summer session preceding his senior year in high school and his friendship with the athletic, spirited Finny. Brinker is very straight-laced and conservative.
He is the first student in his class to enlist in the military. 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.
Gene's name suggests what he might be — but is not. He monitors the order at Devon School and always does things logically: 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 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. Yet the reader must infer this aspect of Gene, like much of his character, from the actions that he recounts rather than from any explicit statements regarding his mindset: 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.
Patch-Withers runs the school with a lenient hand. Over the course of the story, Gene functions as Finny's opposite — but he also becomes his double. Ludsbury thrives on the unquestioning obedience of schoolboys and works hard to restore order after the anarchic summer session.
Brinker Hadley - Brinker is your stereotypical prep school jackass. He always searches for the good in people and assumes others do the same.
Leper is a mild, gentle boy from Vermont who adores nature and engages in peaceful, outdoor-oriented hobbies, like cross-country skiing. Brinker is an efficient politician and a ruthless administrator of justice, the opposite of Finny. He was also sensitive and immensely competitive, especially with his roommate and best friend Finny, whom he meets during the summer session after junior year at Devon.
Against the confining background of the Devon School strictures, Finny constructs his own world out of his imagination: But what Gene initially presents as a perfect friendship soon emerges as nothing of the sort; his account of certain actions, along with statements that seem insincere or strained, soon betray his true feelings.
He is a prodigious athlete, succeeding in every sport until his leg is shattered in his fall from the tree. We are then plunged into his memories of an idyllic summer session preceding his senior year in high school and his friendship with the athletic, spirited Finny.
Read an in-depth analysis of Brinker Hadley. A solid but not a brilliant student who succeeds through discipline, obedience, and conventional thinking, Gene at once admires and envies Finny, his roommate, for whom athletic — if not scholastic — success comes so easily.
Then, when the war fervor changes the nature of the outside world, Leper is the first to enlist. Whereas Forrester is all calculation, Finny is all spontaneity.
In that time and place, my characters would have behaved totally differently. But even the adult Gene seems filled with fears and insecurities; his great worry, we realize, is that nothing has changed since adolescence—not the school buildings and not, most important, himself.
Telling the story from his perspective, he recounts his own growth into adulthood — a struggle to face and acknowledge his fundamental nature and to learn from a single impulsive act that irrevocably shapes his life. Quackenbush is unliked by most and uses any opportunity to treat those inferior to him with disdain.
Gene must work hard for everything he attains, and so he resents the ease of Finny's physical ability and the graceful spontaneity with which he engages life. At first Finny does not believe him and afterward feels extremely hurt. Yet Gene seems neither particularly noble nor physically impressive; his character, in fact, finds its definition in his limitations and his fundamental reserve, rather than his accomplishments.
He often seems to want to lose hold of his own identity and live as a part of Finny, a tendency suggesting that he is strongly uncomfortable with his own personality.
Like Forrester, Finny represents an extreme. Quackenbush briefly assumes a position of power over Gene when Gene volunteers to be assistant crew manager. A stern disciplinarian, Mr. Cliff Quackenbush - Gene, after becoming the assistant crew manager, gets in a fight with Cliff on the first day of crew practice.
Because of his "accident", Finny learns that he will never again be able to compete in sports, which are most dear to him. Gene Forrester. BACK; NEXT ; Character Analysis.
Gene is the narrator and protagonist of A Separate Peace. He suffers from many of the ailments you're probably all familiar with, or will be shortly, from your own sixteen-year-old days: self-consciousness, uncertainty, jealousy, an identity crisis or two, and really annoying seniors with duck.
The main character in A Separate Peace by John Knowles, struggles with jealousy, insecurity, and guilt which all become main themes in the novel. The main character and narrator is Gene Forrester. 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.
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. The A Separate Peace quotes below are all either spoken by Gene Forrester or refer to Gene Forrester. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:).
The Mole or the Con Man takes on a fake identity in order to gain something: information, money, a safe place, trust. As time progresses, he grows to love his new identity and the way people treat him. His new friends prove reliable and he is struck by the contrast.Character analysis of gene forrester in a separate peace by john knowles