Name:English 201 Period

Name:English 201 Period

Name:English 201 Period

A Separate Peace Study GuideDate


  1. As you read A Separate Peace, answer the questions in the study guide to be sure that you understand everything that you have read. Answers should be written in complete sentences.
  2. At the end of the unit, this packet will be collected and it will count as THREE homework grades.
  3. DO NOT lose this study guide.If you do, you will be required to print it off of my Catapult page yourself and fill in any answers you lost yourself.

Ch 1 Questions

  1. Who is telling the story and from what point of view?
  2. What are the two things the narrator wants to see? Why might these be important?
  3. What observations does Gene make about himself in relation to the school?
  4. How has his perception changed? How do you know?
  5. What is the basic setting (time and place) of the novel’s flashback?
  6. What type of qualities does Finny seem to possess in this first chapter? Gene?
  7. How does Gene seem to respond to Finny? What type of relationship do they have?
  8. Finny says he “shamed” Gene into jumping. Do you agree with Finny? Why or why not?

Ch 2 Questions

  1. How is the summer session different that the regular school year? What seems to be the reason for this?
  2. What is Finny’s emblem? What is his view of it?
  3. Gene thinks Finny will get in trouble at the Tea. How does Gene react when Finny doesn’t get in trouble?
  4. What does Gene’s reaction tell you about his character?
  5. Gene jumps out of the tree a second time – does he want to?
  6. What do the boys establish at the end of chapter 2?
  7. Gene claims that Finny saved his life. Is this true? If so, how do you think Gene feels about it?

Ch. 3 Questions

  1. How does Gene feel about Finny at the beginning of the chapter?
  2. Who fills the roles of leader and follower in the book? What characteristics put each in their role?
  3. What game does Finny create? What does this tell you about his character (what does he value, etc.)?
  4. What does Gene claim is reality to him? What time period? What age?
  5. Why does Gene go along with Finny’s ideas?
  6. Explain the last paragraph of the chapter, especially the last line: “Perhaps I was stopped by that level of feeling, deeper than thought, which contains the truth.”

Ch. 4 Questions

  1. Finny states, “You never waste your time. That’s why I have to do it for you.” Based on Gene’s character traits, does Gene see this as a friendly thing to do?
  2. How does Gene interpret Finny’s reaction to Gene wanting to be the top student in their class? Do you agree with Gene’s view?
  3. Are Gene and Finny equal in enmity? Why? Give an example from the text.
  4. A character trait of suspicion is evident in Gene – is it warranted? Do you feel Finny is out to get him?
  5. Is Finny’s response to Gene about going to the tree genuine? Do you think this is a plot against Gene? What does Gene think?
  6. What reaction do you have to the last paragraph of Chapter 4? Do you learn anything about the characters from it?

Ch. 5 Questions

  1. What is the significance of Finny’s injury?
  2. What does Finny think happened in the tree? Do you think this is how he really feels or how he wants to feel? Explain.
  3. Why do you think Gene needs to wear Finny’s pink shirt?
  4. Where does Gene’s confession take place? Does your opinion of Gene change as he confesses to Finny? Why or why not?
  5. Why do you think Finny reacts the way he does to the confession?

Ch. 6 Questions

  1. Gene feels the following quote, “If you broke the rules, then they broke you” is true. Do you agree? Why or why not?
  2. Explain the difference between what the two rivers symbolize.
  3. How has Gene changed since the summer session? What types of differences do you see in his character?
  4. Why do you think Gene becomes a manager of crew – instead of playing a sport? How does Quackenbush respond to Gene?
  5. Gene says he hit Quackenbush for Finny. What does he mean by this?
  6. Gene receives an unexpected phone call – who from and what is the outcome of this call?

Ch. 7 Questions

  1. Who is the first person to accuse Gene of harming Finny? Is the accusation serious?
  2. Describe the situation in the Butt Room – is it serious? How does Gene react to the accusations?
  3. “The War is a bore” – what can you make of this poem? What can you infer about the author’s perspective on the war?
  4. Why does Gene want to join the war?
  5. Give a brief character description of Leper. What type of person does he seem to be?
  6. Who first states that he will enlist – why might he want to enlist on this day?
  7. What surprise does Gene receive at the end of Chapter 7?

Ch. 8 Questions

  1. Why are there no maids?
  2. Finny, in Gene’s mind, is shocked by Gene’s possible enlistment. What does this tell you about Finny?
  3. What is the atmosphere between Gene and Finny when Finny first returns?
  4. What do you think is the reason Finny denies there is a war?
  5. What is Finny’s explanation for the “war”? Who created it and why?
  6. How does Finny feel about his injury? How does he hide his weakness?
  7. What is Finny training Gene for? Why do you think it is important to Finny and why does Gene go along with it?

Ch. 9 Questions

  1. Who is the first to enlist? Are you surprised by this?
  2. What reason is given for enlistment?
  3. Why does Finny stop going to the Butt Room?
  4. Whose idea is the Winter Carnival? What is the event like? What are a few of the prizes?
  5. Who receives a telegram at the end of the chapter? What does it say? Why is this important?

Ch. 10 Questions

  1. What is the Christmas location?
  2. What does Gene initially think Leper escaped from? Why?
  3. How does Leper act during Gene’s visit? Is this behavior different than earlier in the book?
  4. What type of discharge is a Section Eight? How does Leper feel about this?
  5. What does Leper have to say about Finny’s accident? How does Gene respond?
  6. Leper has delusional visions – like what?
  7. Predict – why do you think the visit with Leper bothers Gene so much?

Ch. 11 Questions

  1. What is in progress when Gene returns to school – why is this a problem for him?
  2. What fear does Gene have about Finny being too physical?
  3. Brinker says that Finny is out for the duration – is this true? How does Finny seem to feel about it?
  4. What assumption about Gene enlisting does Brinker make? How is Finny involved? Do you agree with Brinker?
  5. Finny says he doesn’t believe in books or teachers. What does he believe in? Why?
  6. Whose appearance finally lets Finny admit there is a war on?
  7. Why do Brinker and other students take Gene and Finny to the assembly room?
  8. Who mentions Leper being on campus? Why is he brought to the trial?
  9. Summarize what Leper saw in the tree. Does he place blame on anyone for the accident?
  10. How does the chapter end? Finny’s reaction and consequent actions.

Ch. 12 Questions


  1. Gene realizes that Finny didn’t see his aid as help – why not?
  2. What is the consequence of Finny’s second fall? How does Dr. Stanpole seem to feel about his condition?
  3. How does Finny react to Gene’s visit – is his reaction warranted?
  4. What do you learn about Finny’s thoughts on the war during Gene’s second visit? Does it surprise you that Finny wanted to be part of the war?
  5. What does Gene think of Finny being in the war?
  6. Do the boys seem s to reach a point of forgiveness?
  7. What unexpected event happens at the end of the chapter? How do you feel about it?

Ch. 13 Questions

  1. What part of the school is dedicated to the war and why?
  2. How does Brinker’s dad seem to feel about the war?
  3. What are Gene and Brinker’s plans for the war?
  4. How has Finny affected Gene’s life?
  5. Gene says he killed his enemy during his time at school. What was his enemy? And did he kill it?
  6. In the end – do you think Gene realizes that Finny was not out to sabotage him? Explain your reasons.