The theme of this book is growth. Throughout the book A separate peace Gene, the main character is under constant development as his age grows. Him and his best friend both go through experiences that change Genes perspective on life. In the early chapters Gene puts together that Finny is attempting to sabotage his grades. Gene starts thinking for himself and uses this information as inspiration to work harder. In chapters five through six Gene opinion changes when he notices Finny will not accuse him of shaking the tree. In chapters seven through ten Gene starts to realise the world does not revolve around him when he realises Finny needs him. He also notices and how changed Leper is when he returns from war. Gene Makes the realization that war is real and life is not always perfect. At this point is the book the real world starts to invade the protected life Gene grown up in on campus. By the end of the book Gene is not the same boy he used to be.