In the novel "A Separate Peace," by John Knowles there are two main characters, Finny and Gene. They are complete opposites of each other yet they still are best friends. For example, Finny is very athletic and invented his own game called "blitz ball." Moreover, he is a leader and a risk taker. In addition, Finny is the founder of the Suicide Club, which portrays his leadership. In the novel, Finny does not follow the school rules and once he wore a pink shirt and his tie as his belt, which renders him as being a risk taker. Also, when Finny wears the shirt and the tie as a belt, he is suppose to get punished for it, but he talks his way out of punishment.

This demonstrates how he gets away with breaking the rules. Finny isn't the most intelligent student in school; he receives poor grades and is not too worried about school. Lastly, Finny does not have any enemies at Devon; he is friendly and liked by many. Gene on the other hand is timid and a follower. For example, Gene always obeys Finny's commands and follows him around.

In the novel, when Finny wants to skip school Gene is skeptical at first, but eventually, he follows Finny. Likewise, Gene is a superior student with the brains and he ranks at the top of his class. Also, Gene normally follows the school rules unless, he breaks them along with Finny because he follows him. Lastly, as the novel progresses the reader learns that Gene envies Finny and wants to be like him.

For example, Gene wears Finny's clothing and says that he feels like him. Lastly, the tree symbolizes friendship, unity, and war. The seniors of the school use the tree for training purposes. For example, they leap off the tree and land into a river, which symbolizes the war in Europe.

Also, Finny and Gene jumping off the tree and into the river symbolizes friendship and unity.