A Separate Peace

As Gene wanders the campus after his confrontation with Finny, everything seems strange and surreal to him. Cite at least three examples of the surreal quality of the evening.

Chapter 12

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Rather than going home, Gene walks around the stadium and the gym; he is in a strange sort of reverie, where he feels like a spirit, and everything around him is vibrant and full of meaning. The next morning, he gets a note to take some of Finny's things to the infirmary; he is worried because he doesn't know what to say to Finny, and is saddened by having to live through this situation again.

From Gene's reaction after seeing Finny at the infirmary, it seems that Gene is already mourning the passing of his friend. He goes around to all of their usual spots, recalling their significance in their relationship; he seems like he is in shock, going past the gym and declaring that it had " a significance much deeper and far more real than I had noticed before" (177). Even the trees around him become "intensely meaningful," and seem as if they would tell him something "very pressing and entirely undecipherable" (177). Gene's language makes a familiar landscape entirely strange and luminescent; he says that he is like a ghost, in a very interesting metaphor, in surroundings that are "intensely real" (178). Gene has already said goodbye to Devon, and to the memories included in his surroundings; he is mourning things before they are lost to him, and it is almost like he knows that Finny will soon die. This walk makes sense when Finny's demise is considered; it seems like a logical reaction to the death, but instead is an act of foreknowledge, a bit of foreshadowing of significant events to come.