I read this story in the Eighth grade, and then had to take a test on it. Well, part of that test was an essay question. I did rather well, and the teacher was impressed, saying I had "college-level insight". While I'm not sure if she was saying this to make me feel good or if she honestly thought this, my answer was interesting, so I'm going to node it.

Q: What is the literal meaning of "a separate peace" and what is it's application to the novel?

A: The novel implys that "a separate peace" means a calm admist(sp) the storm, care-free peace despite the World War that is tearing apart the globe. Finny is the source of this peace, and shows this in the games he created like blitz-ball and the Winter Carnival. Of course, Finny's separate peace blinds him to cold harsh reality and this eventually kills Finny as much as the bone marrow did.

Q: What is the turning point in the novel? Why?

The novel's turning point is after Gene visits Leper, Until this point, Gene has been wrapped up in the "separate peace" created by Finny and has been hiding his actions and motives from the world. Now Leper (who was there when Finny fell) starts yelling "You always were a savage underneath...like....like that time you knocked Finny out of a tree!....like that time you crippled him for life." Reality has been forced into Gene's lap. "They've got you" is Leper's forshadowing of the "trial" when everyone will find know that Gene purposely crippled Finny. From this point until the trial Gene is trying to avoid the confrontation he knows he will face Finny and tell him that he(Gene) purposely cripled Finny.