A Separate Peace: Character Analysis

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Emerson states “envy is ignorance; limitation is suicide”(370). John Knowles writes A Separate Peace about a boy named Gene returning to an old school. Gene is a teenage boy, smart, but jealous of his best friend Finny who is popular and liked by everyone. A Separate Peace demonstrates how Gene’s envy and imitation of Finny affect him, affect his relationship with Finny, and his achievement of peace. Gene’s envy and imitation affects him in a few ways. One way he is affected is it causes him to conform to Finny. Since he can’t be Finny he does what Finny does. The text states, “...you can’t stand around admiring the view. Jump!” (Knowles 17). Finny is telling Gene to jump from the tree, which Gene really didn’t want to do. Since Finny was popular he did it anyway to stay relevant and look cool. Another way it affected him is it caused him to dress like Finny. While Finny was away Gene went through Finny’s clothes. Gene tries on some …show more content…

One way their relationship is affected is Finny becoming an enemy to Gene. In the novel Gene states, “The deadly rivalry was on both sides after all’’ (Knowles 54). Finny had made plans with Gene the night Gene needed to study for a big test, and since he couldn’t he blamed Finny. His delusion made him think that Finny saw him as a component. From then on Gene started to look at Finny as his enemy and not his best friend. Another way their relationship is affected is when Gene attempts to get rid of Finny to replace him. Gene and Finny were out hanging in the tree when Gene got the urge to shake the branch Finny was standing on causing Finny to fall. Finny ended up breaking his legs all because of Gene. Gene’s jealousy made him do it, he wanted Finny gone, and since he couldn’t be Finny he decided replacing him would be the best option. Gene’s envy and imitation caused conflict and questions as to whether his relationship with Finny was actually a real

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