A Separate Peace


John Knowles

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A Separate Peace Characters

Gene Forrester

The novel's narrator and protagonist. At the beginning of the novel, Gene is a man in his 30s looking back on his days as a student at private preparatory academy called the Devon Schoolread analysis of Gene Forrester

Phineas (“Finny”)

Gene’s best friend and classmate at the Devon School. Finny is a talented athlete and a charismatic student leader who’s earned the respect and admiration of the entire student body. His freewheeling behavior… read analysis of Phineas (“Finny”)

Brinker Hadley

Brinker Hadley comes from a wealthy family and is obsessed with truth, order, and justice. Like Finny, Brinker is well-known on campus and widely considered a leader. But while Finny stands for the freewheeling… read analysis of Brinker Hadley

Elwin “Leper” Lepellier

A member of Gene and Finny’s circle of friends at Devon, Leper is an eccentric student who enjoys communing with nature. As the other boys play sports and leap from trees, Leper photographs… read analysis of Elwin “Leper” Lepellier

Cliff Quackenbush

Cliff Quackenbush is an irritable and condescending Devon crew team manager. Disliked by most Devon students, Cliff mistreats anyone who he has power over. In the aftermath of Finny’s fall, Gene decides that he… read analysis of Cliff Quackenbush
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Mr. Prud’homme

Mr. Prud’homme is a substitute house master at Devon and is in charge of Gene and Finny’s building during the summer term. Because Mr. Prud’homme isn’t as strict or severe as the other masters… read analysis of Mr. Prud’homme

Mr. Ludsbury

Mr. Ludsbury is the house master of Finny and Gene’s dorm during the regular academic calendar. A stern disciplinarian, Mr. Ludsbury works long and hard to maintain order and despises the lax environment that… read analysis of Mr. Ludsbury

Dr. Stanpole

Dr. Stanpole is the main doctor at Devon’s infirmary. He is caring and kind, and pities Gene and his friends for the war-torn world they will soon have to face. When Finny breaks his… read analysis of Dr. Stanpole
Minor Characters
Chet Douglass
An excellent student, tennis player, and trumpeter, Chet Douglass vies with Gene to be the valedictorian of Devon. He is also part of Gene and Finny’s entourage during the summer of Finny’s fall.
Brownie Perkins
Brinker Hadley’s shy and reclusive roommate, who acts as his obedient sidekick.
Bobby Zane
A member of Gene and Finny’s circle of friends during the summer of Finny’s fall.
Mr. Patch-Withers
Mr. Patch-Withers is the substitute headmaster of Devon during the summer term. Like Mr. Prud’homme, Patch-Withers is less strict than the regular masters and falls prey to Finny’s charm.
Phil Latham
Phil Latham is the wrestling coach at Devon. Because he knows First Aid, he cares for Finny immediately after his second accident.
Mr. Hadley
Mr. Hadley is Brinker’s father. His patriotic views annoy both Gene and Brinker, since he admonishes them for not joining more dangerous branches of the military.