A Separate Peace

At what time does Gene return to Devon to visit? What atmoshpere, or mood, is created by setting the story during this season? What do Gene's descriptions of the season suggest about his state of mind?

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Gene returns to Devon as an adult, looking back on one euphoric summer when most of the rules were set aside and the boys of Pencey Prep enjoyed one last burst of elemental fun. The setting - Devon during the years of World War II - is fun when the boys are "playing," but once Finny falls and is injured, the mood changes. Gene is fearful that he will never get over his "murder" of Finny; the changing of the seasons show that such moments cannot last long and that life goes on.