A Separate Peace Gene Character Analysis

888 Words4 Pages

LeBlanc 1
Jessica LeBlanc

English III

03/02/2023 The Gene Affect Emerson states that “envy is ignorance; imitation is suicide” (370). John Knowles, the author of A Separate Peace has written about a time period in which a character named Gene, went back in time. Gene is an older man who decided to revisit the past. Gene does this in order to find peace within his older self from his younger self’s experiences. A Separate Peace illustrates how Gene’s envy and imitation affect him, affect his relationship with Finny, and his achievement of peace. Gene’s envy and imitation of Finny affects …show more content…

One way that Gene and Finny’s relationship was affected was by there being a drift in their relationship from Gene wanting something that Finny doesn’t. For example, by them wanting different things such as Gene thinking about enlisting, caused a shift in their friendship. One piece of evidence from the novel states, “...Phineas was shocked at the idea of my leaving. In some way he needed me. He needed me” (Knowles 108). The evidence from this source proves that by Finny reacting the way he did once he found out about Gene’s idea, it caused a change within their relationship. Although it may seem as though it is Finny’s fault that their relationship is changing, Gene also encourages this change by acting out on his impulsive thoughts. This is due to his envy towards Finny. Another example from an online source states, “He recognizes his attraction to deadly things and, more significantly, he writes a narrative about his relationship with Phineas revealing the flaws in his own character which led to Phineas’s death” (Alton). This evidence helps prove that Gene is partially the blame for Finny and his relationship being affected. Gene encouraged the change between them by causing Finny to fall. Although the first fall is not completely the cause of Finny’s death, the second injury caused a change in the first injury's healing process. This then resulted in Finny’s death. Gene realizes that …show more content…

This is due to his previous experiences and self-evaluation. One way that Gene achieves his goal of being at peace, is by re-hashing his past in order to understand why things happened the way they did. Evidence from the novel states, “Looking back now across fifteen years, I could see with great clarity that fear I had lived in, which must mean that in the interval I had succeeded in a very important undertaking: I must have made my escape from it” (Knowles 10). The evidence used supports that Gene had gone back into his past self in order to gain closure. With that, Gene feels as though he had made his escape from his past self, looking back. Although Gene re-hashed his past, he also re-hashed memories from an old friendship that then caused him to come to realization with his peace. Another piece of textual evidence states, “Because my war ended before I ever put on a uniform; I was on active duty all my time at school; I killed my enemy there” (Knowles 204). This proves that Gene found the peace he was looking for. That is because Gene came to realize about his time at the Devon school, and the things he had experienced. Gene comes to believe that he has found his achievement of peace from old experiences and old

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