“A Separate Peace”
Throughout the novel, many settings reveal characters and events that had great importance in the book. The tree, the Assembly Room and the White Marble Staircase revealed Finny’s accident, and how the characters reacted. At the tree, Phineas is shaken from the tree and into the Devon River. Finny breaks his leg, creating the climax of the novel and a while after, Brinker hosts a trial to discover the truth about what really happened at the tree in the Assembly Room. During the trial Gene is revealed as a coward. He begins to make up lies to show that he didn’t push Finny out of the tree. He eventually starts to proclaim that he was standing at the bottom of the tree when Finny fell. When Brinker and the other young boy who had been questioning him came closer and closer to the truth, he began to come off very defensive to the audience; arguing with what they were accusing him of. As Brinker went on and on about what may or may not have happened, Phineas will not listen, and this portrays his character as very naïve. For example, Phineas seems to be blindsided by the friendship he and Gene share, and believes that Gene truly was at the bottom of the tree, and also that he just simply lost his balance. Further into the trial, Leper Lepellier is called into the Assembly Room and clarifies what really happened the day at the tree. The truth was, Gene was standing on the limb right next to Finny and jounced the limb, causing the fall. Hearing this news, Finny is completely dumbfounded. He leaves during the trial very quietly and when Gene calls out to him, he responds, “Never mind. I don’t care.” This concluded the trial. The Marble Staircase is also a very significant setting in the novel. After the trial, Finny stumbles down the marble stairs, re-breaking his leg, Finny soon after dies from bone marrow entering his blood streams. This setting and the event that took place here impact Gene immensely. “Then these separate sounds collided into...
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