A Separate Peace Essay: Character Analysis

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“It is never wise to seek or wish for another’s misfortune. If malice or envy were tangible and had a shape, it would be the shape of a boomerang.” (Reese). Both envy and malice, or any enmity towards others, ultimately destroys the envious. Throughout the novel A Separate Peace, Gene has a constant, growing envy for Finny. Finny has a natural talent for sports, is extremely likable, and has exquisite social skills. Gene is very intelligent and diligent in school. However, he still has a profusion of envy towards Finny regarding his social skills and athletic talents. This envy is unconsciously warping all of Gene’s thoughts. When Gene jounces the limb on a tree he and Finny were jumping off of, Finny gets seriously hurt, ending his sports career forever.…show more content…
Months later, Finny finds out that Gene purposely jounced the limb. He is fuming with anger as he sprints out of the room. He then falls down the stairs and breaks his leg, leading to his death a few days later. Though Gene has the impression that his envy for Finny is going to be beneficial in some way, it limits him in all aspects of life. He is not capable of always living to the fullest and having gratitude for what gifts he has, such as academics. His friendship with Finny also collapses because he is no longer able to think of Finny as his friend, only as a figure that he loathes, solely because of envy. Gene loses confidence in his abilities and gains animosity as he frequently witnesses Finny's success. In turn, this makes Gene brood over who he isn’t, rather than who he can be and who he is. Although he lives, Gene is ultimately the one truly destroyed by his
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