A Separate Peace – Thug Notes Summary and Analysis

Sup dawg? This week on Thug Notes
we gettin ALL old school with A Separate Peace by John Knowles. When Gene Forrester returns to
Devon- the prep school trap he was at fifteen years ago, he starts thinkin’ bout da sh**
that went down when he was a lil shawty. When Gene was 16, he was always
chillin with main boy Finny, who was also his roommate. Gene all brains and no balls.
And dat boy Finny be a throwed-up athlete who lives life on da edge. But even though
these fools ain’t flowin the same rhyme, they BRO DEEP. During the summer of 1942, Gene and
Finny start a lil’ gang of they own. And if you wanna roll with their crew, you gotta
flex yo’ nuts by jumpin’ off a big ass tree. Gene starts to get mad jealous bout
Finny bein high baller and beatin the rap erry time he find trouble. So one day when
they roll up to dat tree, Gene straight playa hates and shakes Finny off, fu**in his leg
UP. But lucky for Gene, it seems that erryone think it an accident so he dodges all da heat. Gene eventually gets so torn up
over the guilt that he swangs ova to Finny’s crib to lay down da truth. But Finny ain’t
hearin dat mess and don’t believe a damn word he say. Since America decided to get off
its lazy ass and join World War II, some smooth talkin white boy named Brinker try to get
Gene to strap up and glock some Germans. At first Gene and Brinker all bout joinin the
cause, but sh** gets too real and they both bitch out. Later, Brinker gathers errybody to
snitch on Gene for wrecking Finny’s leg. But when Finny hears people say Gene did it
on purpose, he rollsout of there REAL quick. He haulin such ass that he falls down some
stairs and breaks his leg AGAIN. Even though it ain’t as broke as the first time, he
still gonna need an operation. Gene finally nuts-up and heads over
to the doc where he fesses up to Finny. Even though Finny-boy got beef at first, he eventually
lets it slide and they cool again. But what was s’posed to be a no-hassles procedure
turns out ALL fu**ed up and Finny’s heart stops. Fool dead. After seein his boy get put in
dirt, Gene is able to bury something else too- his anger. Listen good, playboy. Knowles layin
down all sorts of thematic real talk on our asses by slangin what some literary crews
call “the double.” You can peep doubling all up in the characters.
See, Finny’s perky self always geeked up trying to enjoy the world
in childs play- or paidia in ancient Greek. Whereas Gene always so damn serious
and sees people not as bruthas to party wit, but as rivals. Fool always lookin for a struggle-
or Agon. Knowles gone and even doubled up
the setting. Devon lay smack in the middle of two rivers. The Devon river all clear and
pure. The Naguamsett, though, be so nasty, it’s as if someone took a big ol’ sh**
in it. All this symbolizing how Gene, Finny, and all dem other little thugz gotta choose
between love and hate. But even though part of it’s a
choice, another part is gonna make its way in to yo’ life no matter what. Finny always
spinning tales to make the world seem like it ain’t such a crooked place. But when
he’s forced to face the truth that Gene did him straight dirty, his heart just can’t
keep hackin it- and all dat symbolized by the marrow makin its way to his heart. Now how bout we get all biblical up
in this piece?! Just like Adam got his ass tossed out out after swipin dat apple, Gene
wrecks his own innocence by back-stabbin Finny. And cuz o’ dat, Gene gets isolated from
erryone on tha block- even himself. And that ain’t the only way the
apple don’t fall far from the tree. Gene also learns what’s up from dat forbidden
fruit of crossin his main man. Cuz after Finny takes his long dirt nap, Gene
finally learns who he is, how to stop bein a jealous hater, and a lil
somethin about the whack- ass nature of the human heart. He realize that all dat beefin and
warrin that humans do on the reg ain’t nothin but ignorance. Yo thanks for watchin’ Thug Notes
and don’t forget to check out my store if you wanna roll like a real literary OG. Peace!

100 Replies to “A Separate Peace – Thug Notes Summary and Analysis

  1. bro this really helped me on my project bro i havent read a single page on that book and this just saved my life u guys real MVP btw this channel is good i like the way u guys try to mix thugs with literary is funny XD

  2. Please do Night by Elie Weisel. Its super short only 120 pages but its brutal and intense about a teenage boy who gets sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, Buna, and then Buchenwald!

  3. This book is a gay coming of age story. Gene has a crush on Finny.

    Not anything wrong with that, but in 1942… well…

  4. You should totally do War and Peace by Tolstoy at some point, maybe split it up into separate videos or just cover my fave part (Volume 2 Part 5), it's totally up to you how you wanna cover it, I'd love it however way you picked!

  5. Anyone who is studying for an English final might want these

  6. aye you helped me so much.i seen your videos in school for english my teacher put it for us.imma sub you cause you help me alot

  7. I personally couldn't stand a separate peace. Maybe it's because I was younger, but I found it so boring. JUST KISS ALREADY! Bummed me out that didn't happen too lol

  8. this may be a few years late, but a while back, I got so bored by this book in english class, that I decided to write my paper on the most outlandish topic that I could to find any enjoyment on it. It went something like this.
    The thesis was that Gene and Finny weren't gay, but instead the same person, much like Tyler Durden and the other guy in Fight Club. Gene created Finny so that he could be cool, so he could be a self-supporting badass, but as he grows up and is forced to face the world (he is in a preperatory school, about to enlist in the army, after all), he needs to get rid of this imaginary friend. He tries to get rid of it as early as possible, but he still needs Finny to get through his life, so Finny comes back, and this is when Finny is training Gene to become a distance runner. Now Gene is more self-supporting, and Finny is merely around to help him just a while longer. Finally, there is the trial, Gene thinking about what he had done. Finally, Gene goes into the army, and Finny is no longer needed, and dies.
    and now I believe it to be true.

  9. love the vids. But you keep saying that Adam takes Apple from the Tree of knowledge. it was Eve that did it. I have heard this from the videos three times. I am starting to believe that you are not making a mistake, But trying to say something. What's up?

  10. I had to read this book in 10th grade and I absolutely hated it. Gene was so entrenched in his own bitchy delusions that reading the book was like pulling teeth for me. I didn't care about him or the mental gymnastics he did to make it seem like the world was out to get him; I just wanted him to shut the fuck up.

  11. In an interview in 1987, John Knowles said this on the matter of their sexualities:

    "Freud said any strong relationship between two men contains a homoerotic element. If so in this case, both characters are totally unaware of it. It would have changed everything, it wouldn't have been the same story. In that time and place, my characters would have behaved totally differently… If there had been homoeroticism between Phineas and Gene, I would have put it in the book, I assure you. It simply wasn't there."
    -Found in the afterword by David Levithan.

  12. I see mixed reviews about this book in the comments, but mostly negative ones that explain that they only hated it because Gene was a horrible person. But honestly, I'm one of the few people that enjoyed the book.

  13. I have to do an essay on this book for a test grade tomorrow, and this really helps. My teacher showed us this in class to help us and it works great

  14. I had to read that shitty book back in the 10th grade. But I didn't read it and took the F, instead. Looking back, it was a wise decision. I made up the F and finished up with a A for the year.

  15. this book straight up traumatized me as a kid and i had forgotten the title 'til seeing this – get high, watch thug notes, achieve closure on decades-old literature-inflicted wounds. (gonna have to re-read it now)

  16. I read this book in high school and I thought I missed the whole scenario of this story because it was so messed up how it all went down…this video only confirmed it!

  17. I had to read this book for school over summer reading. I skimmed the book and didn't pay much attention because it was just so shit boring.

  18. we have an assignment on this, i found it so boring! but after watching this i feel that it isn't that bad.

  19. Can I get an F in the chat for me. My teacher gonna yell at my ass for not doing this book for the summer homework.

  20. This is a crap book about rich-kid problems. They have an easy, prep-school life of privilege. All their 'problems' are self-generated.

  21. I literally finished this book like 3 days ago and couldn't stop crying- I think I'm the only one that actually freaking loved the book


  22. I hate gene. His actions lead to the death of someone who thought of him as a friend. And it pisses me off that phinny’s death was just used as a lesson to gene nothing more nothing less, phinny was just a passing ship in gene’s life and now that phinny died gene is just gonna go about his dumb life and eventually forget about all about phinny

  23. My daughter was almost in tears reading the over descriptive works of John Knowles. Then…. she watched this video and it changed her perspective on the whole book. Thanks Thug Notes!!!

  24. Man, I absolutely HATED this book. Worst book not just of sophomore year of HS, worst book I have ever had to read for a class.

    I wish Thug Notes has been a thing back in 1999/2000, or that at least Dr. Sparky Sweets was my teacher back then.

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