A Seperate Piece

by John Knowles

overview of story

Gene Forrester is a quiet, intellectual student at the Devon School in New Hampshire. During the summer session of 1942, he becomes close friends with his daredevil roommate Finny, whose innate charisma consistently allows him to get away with mischief. Finny prods Gene into making a dangerous jump out of a tree into a river, and the two start a secret society based on this ritual. Gene gradually begins to envy Finny’s astonishing athletic abilities, manifested in Finny’s breaking a school swimming record on his first try. He thinks that Finny, in turn, envies his superior academic achievements, and he suspects that his friend has been taking steps to distract him from his studies. Gene’s suspicions transform into resentful hatred, but he nevertheless carefully maintains an appearance of friendship.
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relations between characters

in the story, a separate piece, the two main characters have a love-hate relationship. finny is very athletic and is very outgoing, gene is very jealous because of that. on the other hand gene is very smart and gets great grade, finny doesn't, finny is also jealous of gene because of that. through out the story they get mad a each other but don't show it on the outside.

why you should read it?

you should read a separate piece because it show how people can grow apart and that jealousy can overcome friendships. this book is also very interesting because it takes place in world war 2 and how the war changes some people.


summer in the book represents a time where finny and gene were closer friends. winter represents the fall of there friendship and how gene felt jealous of finny and finny felt jealous of gene. world war two represents conflict and enmity.

authors purpose

the author wrote this to show how jealousy can tear apart friendships.