Revealing Finny’s Character Through the Setting
John Knowles’ fictional novel, A Separate Peace, centers around the story of Gene Forrester and his friend Finny, two teenage boys enrolled in a private boarding school during the early 1940s. While the actions and events in the text allow the reader to gain an understanding of the characters, the setting itself provides a great deal of insight about each character’s personality, especially Finny’s. In numerous ways, Knowles uses the setting of his novel to help reveal various aspects of Finny’s character, such as his natural leadership abilities, his peerless athleticism, and his innate charisma.
Throughout the text, Finny constantly displays his natural authority and leadership skills. Finny …show more content…
Since Devon is an all-boys boarding school, Finny’s environment is bound to be highly competitive, especially when it comes to sports. Despite the numerous athletes at the school, Finny appears to shine above them all with seemingly no effort at all. One such example is when Finny unofficially breaks the school’s 100 meter freestyle swimming record, much to the amazement of Gene. “The sports Finny played officially—football, hockey, baseball, lacrosse—didn’t have school records. To switch to a new sport suddenly, just for a day, and immediately break a record in it—that was about as neat a trick, as dazzling a reversal as I could, to be perfectly honest, possibly imagine”(Knowles p.45). The fact that Finny is not a member of the swim team, and yet is able to beat the swimming record on his very first attempt, certainly exhibits his athletic prowess. It shows that he not only excels in sports that he regularly plays, but also in the activities that he attempts simply out of curiosity or for fun. The pool incident, however, also provides the reader with additional information about Finny. Because Finny chooses to attempt to break the school record in a nearly deserted pool, the reader is able to see that Finny is not seeking after the recognition that comes with achievement. He simply wants to try his best because he has a genuine love for sports. He does not feel the need to
The lack of innocence is indicated throughout A Separate Peace, by Gene’s involvement in adult ways. Most vividly, it is shown by Gene’s intentional choices to hurt Finny, the beginning of the Winter Session, and the Devon men’s engagement in World War II. For Gene, innocence was lost quickly. However, for others, innocence can be held onto for a long time, disappearing much more gradually. In the end, innocence cannot be held onto forever.
In John Knowles, fictional novel, A Separate Peace, he uses internal conflict to ensure the reader’s understanding of a true friendship. Gene brings Finny’s suitcase to the infirmary, and the boys finally talk about the accident. Finny is an emotional mess and begins to cry. He asks Gene, “It was just some blind impulse you had in the tree there, you didn’t know what you were doing. Was that it” (191)?
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that, “envy is ignorance; imitation is suicide.” (370). John Knowles’ A Separate Peace is set during World War I at Devon School, a boarding school for boys. The book centers on Gene Forrester, a student at Devon, who could be described as an intelligent, but jealous, conformist. A Separate Peace illustrates Gene’s envy and imitation of his friend, Finny, and how it affects himself and his relationship with Finny, and also how Gene eventually finds peace.
A loving friend turns murderer after his retched jealousness and overanalyzing pushes him to new lows. In A Separate Peace by John Knowles, the true character of Gene Forrester is shown as he narrates his point of view of the story. Gene Forrester is a relatable ever changing, humanistic, and someone who is always in contention. Although at points Gene seems mentally unstable, he is a round, dynamic character that adapts and is generally mentally sound. Gene being the narrator of his own story shows from his perspective just how he views people and their interactions.
Because Finny refused to tell anyone, but Gene, about his record-breaking achievement, Gene is baffled as to why Finny would not want to. It seems as though Gene is imagining himself in Finny’s shoes as he mentions, “Was he trying to impress me or something? Not tell anybody? When he had broken a school record without a day of practice? I
In result of the accident he faces many bumps in the road and he does not know how to properly handle them. Constantly, Finny was a confident charming person until the accident which makes him a dynamic character. The end of the book supports this because Finny is a completely different person before he dies than in the beginning of the book. One of the many things that changed in Finny's life was his friendship with Gene. This quote shows one of the many themes in this book, Friendship.
Strength develops in someone through their experiences which have the ability to make them an emotionally stronger person. A quote by Ernest Hemingway presents that “the world breaks everyone, then some become strong at the broken places.” Even those who suffer the most will have the ability to bounce back at a stronger state. This theme reveals its relevance in A Separate Peace by John Knowles as we analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the main characters, Finny and Gene. Although some may insist that Finny’s emotional state fits the mold of a weak character, I have confidence that Finny has the most inner strength out of the two boys given his description and actions throughout the novel.
Friendship A Separate Peace has a very unique description of friendship. Throughout the book, Gene is jealous of Finny’s looks and what he is able to do. Gene has a lot of ambivalent feelings toward Finny. He wants to be Finny, but at the same time he is jealous of him.
The author, John Knowles, in the novel, “A Separate Peace”, conveys the lesson of friendship, or rather the lack of, with his use of diction. The strategy in which the author phrased certain sections of dialogue between Finny and Gene is there to show that Finny cares for Gene despite Gene’s obvious discontent. The friendship is a one-way street, and the author uses diction to represent this unbalance in the relationship, leading to friendship being a key theme throughout the book. There exist many examples of this diction throughout the novel, one of these is during their illegal beach trip. “I hope you’re having a pretty good time here.
Gene believes that Finny and he hate each other, until he realizes Finny’s pureness, which Gene can not stand. At first, Gene believes that Finny wants to exceed him, and that the two are rivals. Everyone at Devon likes Finny. The teachers adore him, the students look up to him, the athletes aspire
Charles Kuralt once said, “ The love of family and the admirations of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege.” This quote shows how jealousy and popularity aren’t as important as relationships in your life. In the book, A Separate Peace, Gene has different priorities than relationships. Gene, a young boy who attends Devon boarding school, goes through many different trials along his grade school journey. He faces problems with friends and school life during the time of World War two and the draft being in full swing.
Finny and Gene’s Friendship Friendship is very important in this story. Friendship is very important for a person’s well-being. In this book titled A Separate Peace by John Knowles the reader learns a lot about friendship in this book.
John Knowles, author of A Separate Peace, uses both character development and setting to support his decision in selecting the title. He uses the main characters of Gene and Phineas (Finny) and their troubled yet deeply bonded friendship as a way to illustrate the separate peace that takes place both within the boys themselves and in the friendship that is built between the two. Knowles also uses the setting of the novel to demonstrate the vast difference between the peaceful Devon School grounds and the war raging outside of the school’s walls. The title, A Separate Peace, as chosen by the author is symbolic of the main characters, Finny and Gene’s, struggle to find peace within themselves and with each other while set in a place that significantly contrasts the events of the real world.
A Separate Peace, Unit Test Hamza Eldohiri The story “A Separate Peace”, written by John Knowles, was written at the time and takes place during World War II when battles and conflicts amongst nations were evident. Each nation involved struggled and fought their hardest in order to satisfy the good of their nation. Not only is the setting in the story taking place during this time of quarrel, the story also demonstrates areas of self-conflict and an internal battle throughout. The characters in “A Separate Peace”, are described as experiencing this self-conflicting, internal battle. Gene (also the narrator) is specifically depicted as he goes through his battle in life.