A Separate Peace

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The quintessential prep school student, Brinker comes from a wealthy family and is obsessed with truth, order, and justice. Like Finny, Brinker is well known on campus and is considered a leader. But while Finny stands for the freewheeling innocence of youth, Brinker represents the reserved discipline of adulthood. His fixation on getting to the truth leads him to suspect Gene of intentionally harming Finny, a claim that makes Brinker seem like the novel's most grown up and disillusioned adolescent.

Brinker Hadley Quotes in A Separate Peace

The A Separate Peace quotes below are all either spoken by Brinker Hadley or refer to Brinker Hadley. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
War and Rivalry Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Scribner edition of A Separate Peace published in 2003.
Chapter 6 Quotes
"Across the hall...where Leper Lepellier had dreamed his way through July and August amid sunshine and dust motes and windows through which the ivy had reached tentatively into the room, here Brinker Hadley had established his headquarters. Emissaries were already dropping in to confer with him."
Related Characters: Gene Forrester (speaker), Brinker Hadley, Elwin "Leper" Lepellier
Related Symbols: Fall (Autumn) and Finny's Fall, The Devon School
Page Number: 74
Explanation and Analysis:

Now that Devon's first Summer Session has ended and fall has arrived (along with Phineas's own "fall"), the school which had been largely "leaderless" (and thus open to Phineas's whims, because the few faculty members who remained over the summer were lenient to him and students followed his example) has returned to its typical, hierarchical order. Students such as Brinker Hadley return to their usual positions of power, which Gene analogizes to martial positions of command. Here, Phineas is gone, and the carefree atmosphere which he fostered has left with him, replaced by the realities of growing up and the looming threat of World War II.

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Chapter 9 Quotes
"It wasn't the cider which made me surpass myself, it was this liberation we had torn from the gray encroachments of 1943, the escape we had concocted, this afternoon of momentary, illusory, special and separate peace."
Related Characters: Gene Forrester (speaker), Phineas ("Finny"), Brinker Hadley, Brownie Perkins
Page Number: 136-137
Explanation and Analysis:

During one Saturday afternoon, which is typically the most lonesome time at a boys' school such as Dover, according to Gene, Gene and his classmates hold a winter carnival (inspired by Phineas, whose stream of ideas has been slower of late). Stimulated by cider, a general awareness that they may be breaking school rules, and the fact that they are definitely creating a fictitious celebration, they engage in revelry, making a sort of "momentary, illusory, special and separate peace." We know that this peace specifically contrasts with the harsh reality of World War II, because this carnival ends when Gene receives a letter from Leper, who was the first boy at Devon to enlist in the war. Leper's tense, terse note begs Gene to visit him at his "Christmas location" (without giving a genuine address or a genuine reason), returning the narrative to the cold realism of the winter of 1943.

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Brinker Hadley Character Timeline in A Separate Peace

The timeline below shows where the character Brinker Hadley appears in A Separate Peace. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6
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...has not been taken, so Gene lives alone. But a prominent student on campus named Brinker Hadley has replaced Leper, his neighbor from the summer. (full context)
Chapter 7
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Back at his room, Gene is visited by Brinker. Brinker admires Gene's room, and jokes that Gene purposely injured Finny to get it all... (full context)
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In the Butt Room, where they go to smoke, Brinker continues to joke in front of the other smoking students. Gene now plays along, confessing... (full context)
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...Leper is on skis and is "touring" the area looking for a beaver dam. Gene, Brinker, Chet Douglass, and Quackenbush then spend a miserable day shoveling. They cheer when at the... (full context)
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...meet Leper on the way home. He reports excitedly that he found the beaver dam. Brinker mocks Leper, and disdainfully calls him an "abominable snowman" and a "nat-u-ral-ist." (full context)
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Brinker then tells Gene he wants to enlist in the armed forces tomorrow. Gene considers enlisting... (full context)
Chapter 8
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The next morning, Brinker enters. When he sees Finny, he starts to joke about Gene offing Finny to get... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Leper leaves school one week later. To Brinker and most of the other boys, Leper's participation in the war becomes a running joke:... (full context)
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...boys hold "The Devon Winter Carnival." With Gene, he assembles a crew of collaborators, including Brinker and his roommate Brownie Perkins. They drink hard cider and award prizes for athletic feats... (full context)
Chapter 10
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During the walk, Gene comments that Brinker has changed a great deal, becoming much less cruel. Leper responds that he'd recognize the... (full context)
Chapter 11
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Finny and Gene are back in their room when Brinker comes in and asks about Leper. Gene is vague, but Brinker guesses that Leper has... (full context)
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As time passes, most of the boys other than Gene enlist. One morning, Brinker suggests that Gene is delaying enlisting because he feels pity for Finny, and because some... (full context)
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Later that night, Brinker and three boys arrive at Gene and Finny's room. They all go to the Assembly... (full context)
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...Finny remembers that they were both on the branch about to do a double jump. Brinker wishes Leper were there to comment on the differences between Gene and Finny's story. Finny... (full context)
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...one pushed down first (Gene) and then the other rose and fell (Finny). But when Brinker asks who shook the branch, Leper refuses to answer and starts to seem crazy again. (full context)
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...tribunal tries to calm Leper, Finny stands and says he doesn't care what happened. When Brinker protests that they need to get the facts straight, Finny swears and rushes from the... (full context)
Chapter 12
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The boys stay calm. Brinker makes sure Finny doesn't move as boys get teachers and Dr. Stanpole to come to... (full context)
Chapter 13
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As the soldiers drive in, Brinker brings Gene to meet his father, who can barely hide his disdain for Gene and... (full context)
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...sense of confidence and affection as the world tumbled into war around him. Everyone else—Gene, Brinker, Leper, and Quackenbush—fell prey to the war in his own way, even though it was... (full context)