Finny's fall from the tree and the turn from summer to fall mark the novel's main points of change. During the summer session, the boys enjoyed a time of carefree youthful adventure. When the Summer Session ends and fall and winter come, everything changes: Devon returns to its strict disciplinary ways, and the threat of having to fight in the war darkens everyone's consciousness. The novel's other main "fall," Finny's, has much the same effect. With that fall, the joy of childhood Finny symbolized disappears, and the boys' different reactions to the fall help define who they'll be as adults.
Fall (Autumn) and Finny's Fall Quotes in A Separate Peace
The A Separate Peace quotes below all refer to the symbol of Fall (Autumn) and Finny's Fall. 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: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribner edition of A Separate Peace published in 2003.).
Chapter 4 Quotes
"Holding firmly to the trunk, I took a step toward him, and then my knees bent and I jounced the limb. Finny, his balance gone, swung his head around to look at me for an instant with extreme interest, and then he tumbled sideways, broke through the little branches below and hit the bank with a sickening, unnatural thud. It was the first clumsy physical action I had ever seen him make. With unthinking sureness I moved out on the limb and jumped into the river, every trace of my fear of this forgotten."
Related Symbols: Fall (Autumn) and Finny's Fall
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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."