A Separate Peace

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"None of this mattered now; I would have listlessly agreed to anything. He started up the wooden rungs and I began climbing behind, up to the limb high over the bank. Phineas ventured a little way along it, holding a thin nearby branch for support. "Come put a little way," he said, "and then we'll jump side by side." The country side was striking from here, a deep green sweep of playing fields and bordering shrubbery, with the school stadium white and miniature-looking across the river. From behind us the last long rays of light played across the campus, accenting every slight undulation of the land, emphasizing the separateness of each bush.

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 of the limb and jumped into the river, every trace of my fear of this forgotten."

This passage, being a major turning point of the storyline, describes the big accident at their school. When Phineas, also known as Finny, falls out of the tree and breaks his leg, his athletic career is over. This athleticism is all Finny has other than his best friend Gene. With Finny on vacation at home, Gene feels incomplete without his best friend. Gene feels terrible because he caused Finny to fall by jouncing the limb whether it was on purpose or not, even Gene didn't know. He visits Finny in Boston, hoping he can tell him what actually happened in the tree. Gene and Finny's friendship is still far from over as they are still very close friends.

"Dr. Stanpole sat down next to me and put his capable-looking hand on my leg. "This is something I think boys of your generation are going to see a lot of," he said quietly, "and I will have to tell you about it now. Your friend is dead."

He was incomprehensible. I felt an extremely cold chill along my back and neck, that was all. Dr. Stanpole went on talking incomprehensibly. "It was such a simple, clean break. Anyone could have set it. Of course, I didn't send him to Boston. Why should I?"

He seemed to except an answer from me, so I shook my head and repeated, "Why should you?"

"In the middle of his heart simply stopped, without warning. I can't explain it. Yes, I can. There is only one explanation. As I was moving the bone some of the marrow must have escaped into his blood stream and gone directly to his heart and stopped it. That's the only possible explanation. The only one. There are risks, there are always risks. An operating room is a place where the risks are just more formal than in other places. An operating room and a war." And I noticed that his self-control was breaking up. "Why did it have to happen to you boys so soon, here at Devon?"

"The marrow of his bone…" I repeated aimlessly. This at last penetrated my mind. Phineas had died from the marrow of his bone flowing down his blood stream to his heart.

I did not cry then or ever about Finny. I did not cry even when I stood watching him being lowered into his family's strait-laced burial ground outside of Boston. I could not escape a feeling that this was my own funeral, and you do not cry in that case."

This passage was not only turning point of the story but a turning point in Gene's life. Gene saying,"…this was my own funeral…", proves that Phineas was a tremendous part of Gene's life. Gene's life will probably be hard without his faithful companion. He shares not only his room with Finny but his life. Although Gene was a little jealous of Finny's athleticism, he still had compassionate feelings for Finny. Gene's mood depicted that he was shocked and speechless for his loss.

"What do you want to manage a crew for? What do you want to manage for? What's that got to do with sports?

The point was, the grace of it was, that it had nothing to do with sports. They were barred from me, as though when Dr. Stanpole said, "Sports are finished" he had been speaking of me. I didn't trust myself in them, and I didn't trust anyone else. It was as though football players were really bent on crushing the life out of each other, as though boxers were in combat to the death, as though even a tennis ball might turn into a bullet. This didn't seem completely crazy imagination in 1942, when jumping out of trees stood for abandoning a torpedoed ship. Later, in the swimming pool, we were given the second stage in that rehearsal: after you hit the water you made big splashes with your hands, to scatter the flaming oil which would be on the surface.

So to Phineas I said, "I'm too busy for sports," and he went into his incoherent groans and jumbles of words, and I thought the issue was settled until at the end he said, "Listen, pal, if I can't play sports, you're going to play them for me," and I lost a part of myself to him then, and a soaring sense of freedom revealed that this must have been my purpose from the first: to become a part of Phineas"

This passage illustrates the growing friendship between the two friends and the character of Phineas. Gene becomes a part of Phineas as he is requested to play sports for Phineas. Finny asks Gene because he can no longer be an athlete and want Phineas to pursue that dream of his. Finny shows a commitment to sports through this passage. He also doesn't want Gene to take the job on the crew of a person with a physical disability, while he is completely fine, showing care for his "pal." Gene believes that his role in life is to be a part of Phineas.

To Kill a Mockingbird

"Somebody was staggerin' around and pantin' and-coughing fit to die. I thought it was Jem at first, but it didn't sound like him, so I went lookin' for Jem on the ground. I thought Atticus had come to help us and had got wore out-"

"Who was it?"

"Why there he is, Mr. Tate, he can tell you his name." As I said it, I half pointed to the man in the corner, but brought my arm down quickly lest Atticus reprimand me for pointing. It was impolite to point.

He was still leaning against the wall. He had been leaning against the wall when I came into the room, his arms folded across his chest. As I pointed he brought his arms down and pressed the palms of his hands against the wall. They were white hands, sickly white hands that had never seen the sun, so white they stood out garishly against the dull cream wall in the dim light of Jem's room.

I looked from his hands to his sand-stained khaki pants; my eyes traveled up his thin frame to his torn denim shirt. His face was as white as his hands, but for a shadow on his jutting chin. His cheeks were thin to hollowness; his mouth was wide; there were shallow, almost delicate indentations at his temples, and his gray eyes were so colorless I thought he was blind. His hair was dead and thin, almost feathery on top of his head.

When I pointed to him his palms slipped slightly, leaving greasy sweat streaks on the wall, and he hooked his thumbs in his belt. A strange small spasm shook him, as if he heard fingernails scrape slate, but as I gazed at him in wonder the tension slowly drained from his face. His lips parted into a timid smile, and our neighbor's image blurred with my sudden tears.

"Hey, Boo," I said."

This passage changes the way Scout looks at Arthur Radley, Boo, and is a major turning point in the story. Before Scout saw Boo Radley, she thought of him as an insane child who tried to kill his parents. She believed this through Miss Maudie's scary stories about Boo. Saving Jem made Scout believe Boo to be a friendly caring man. When later walking him home, Scout she sees the neighborhood in the eyes of Boo. She puts herself into the shoes of Boo realizing that he was with them the whole time from the presents in the tree, the blanket when it was cold and most importantly saving their lives from Bob Ewell, yet she never was able to repay him for what he did.

"When he gave us our air-rifles Atticus wouldn't teach us to shoot. Uncle Jack instructed us in the rudiments thereof; he said Atticus wasn't interested in guns. Atticus said to Jem one day, "I'd rather you shot at tin cans in the back yard, but I know you'll go after birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."

That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it.

"Your father's right," she said. "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."

This passage really explains the title of this book. Throughout the story innocent people are getting hurt by evil people, which are referred to as killing a mockingbird. The mockingbird they're talking about refers to the happiness mockingbirds possess. They have no evil inside of them, instead they sing for us. Later in the story Scout refers to Boo's personality as a mockingbird because he was a good man and had no evil in him. Putting himself into the public would be like shooting his shy personality.

Our first raid came to pass only because Dill bet Jem The Gray Ghost against two Tom Swifts that Jem wouldn't get any farther than the Radley gate. In all his life, Jem had never declined a dare.

Jem thought about it for three days. I suppose he loved honor more than his head, for Dill wore him down easily: "You're scared," Dill said, the first day. "Ain't scared, just respectful," Jem said. The next day Dill said, "You're too scared even to put your big toe in the front yard." Jem said he reckoned he wasn't, he'd passed the Radley Place every school day of his life.

"Always runnin'," I said.

But Dill got him the third day, when he told Jem that folks in Meridian certainly weren't as afraid as the folks in Maycomb, that he'd never seen such scary folks as the ones in Maycomb.

This was enough to make Jem march to the corner, where he stopped and leaned

against the light-pole, watching the gate hanging crazily on its homemade hinge.

"I hope you've got it through your head that he'll kill us each and every one, Dill

Harris," said Jem, when we joined him. "Don't blame me when he gouges your

eyes out. You started it, remember."

"You're still scared," murmured Dill patiently.

Jem wanted Dill to know once and for all that he wasn't scared of anything: "It's just that I can't think of a way to make him come out without him gettin' us." Besides, Jem had his little sister to think of.

When he said that, I knew he was afraid. Jem had his little sister to think of the time I dared him to jump off the top of the house: "If I got killed, what'd become of you?" he asked. Then he jumped, landed unhurt, and his sense of responsibility left him until confronted by the Radley Place.

This passage shows Jem's character. Jem never declining a dare shows his streaking pride pride. Now facing the dare of going into the Radley's front yard, Jem is more scared than ever. As he is always running past the Radley's house shows that he's scared. Dill keeps nagging Jem, who finally gives in to the peer pressure and goes to protect his pride. He also has a great responsibility, to take care of his sister, Scout.