Guilt is a funny concept, that has a different affects on different people. Guilt can cause some to confess and it releases the burden, but for those who take long to confess, it can turn into a negative reaction that can cripple your emotions. A Separate Peace is set in a boarding school in New England. Gene, a main character, is an incisive introvert whose best friend, Phineas, is a handsome athlete. When an accident occurs over the Summer, that leaves Gene and Finny hurt in some way, what comes next could take a toll on their friendship. Dismissive and harmful effects of guilt are all around Gene. These effects caused Gene to lose confidence, and lose his ability to grow as a person. Furthermore, the theme guilt is crippling is shown throughout the entirety of the novel. This is mainly shown when Gene feels guilty about Finny, since Gene broke his leg. The first time Gene feels guilty about what he did is when Phineas first put in the hospital after Gene jounced the limb. Once the doctor came out and explain Finny's condition to Gene, he says Finny wants to talk to Gene. Gene then thinks, “Finny would say nothing behind my back, he would accuse me face to face.” (64) Gene knew that Finny would be mad at him after the tree incident. He expected this because he knew that it was true what he did. Gene doesn't doubt that Finny …show more content…
The trial increase the crippling effect of guilt on Gene. The following shows how Gene reacted to Leper telling everyone that Gene caused Finny to fall out of the tree. “Everyone must be able to see how false his confidence was. Any fool could see that. But whatever I said would be a self indictment; others would have to fight for me.”(174-175) Gene is so consumed by guilt that he is thinking about everything he does and how that could indicate whether or not he's guilty. This confirms how the guilt is negatively affecting him by causing him to lose his
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(Explanation 2) By being hesitant to share his suspicion and feeling sorry for having it, Finny rises way above Gene in nobility which irritates Gene and instigates him to admit. Gene wants to be even with Finny if not better. Later that summer, (Point 2) when Gene visits Finny in his home in Boston he confesses what actually happened at the tree. (Evidence 2) Finny says: “Of course, you didn’t do it.
Gene allows his opinion to interfere with the truth. According to Honesty and Not Telling The Truth “it is sometimes difficult to tell the truth” (Monkeyshines on Health and Science 17). Gene was so hooked on the fact that Finny was jealous of him that he told the reader but was not able to prove
Gene’s envy and imitation of finny affected him. One way Gene is affect was he was doing things that he really didn’t want to do, but he just always did everything Finny told him to do. The text says, “ What was i doing up here anyway? Why did i let FInny talk me into stupid things like this? Was he getting some kind of hold over me?”
Gene’s relationship with his “best friend” Phineas describes how the relationship resulted in the killing of Gene's enemy, his own youth, and innocence. Gene is plainly described in the novel as envious of Finny, he is also depicted as the position of much hatred and dismay by his peers. Therefore, the fact that Gene kills his own youth is likely considering Finny’s success, Gene’s jealousy towards
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
Gene Forrester’s Character Development The quote “Envy is ignorance; imitation is suicide,” (Emerson 370) accurately describes Gene Forrester from “A Separate Peace”. John Knowles is the author of “A Separate Peace” and it is set in New Hampshire at Devon High. Gene Forrester is not your normal protagonist; he thinks his best friend Phineas is “out to get him” and he eventually grows to envy him. He used to conform to Finny in the beginning, but he later grows into his own character.
In the beginning of the novel, Gene returns to Devon to understand what happened in 1942. This is important because Gene seeks to console the guilt he has faced. Furthermore, Gene shows his shame after Finny was jounced off the tree. Remorse over Finny's injury ate Gene up, causing Gene to not participate in sports. Gene feels disgrace while in the infirmary thinking, "If Phineas had been sitting here in this pool of guilt...what would he have done?"
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.
Since Gene was the one to jounce the limb of the tree and put Finny off balance he takes the responsibility for the accident. This proves that gene has the identity for being the worrier and the responsible one. Each time something bad happens Gene feels like he is responsible and doesn't want anyone to know that he is. Since he is known to be the nerd he doesn't want his identity to his friends to become worse.
Finny not being able to play sports anymore that meant Gene was next in line for the top athlete at Devon. In addition, this incident leads to Finny having several health issues and dying towards the end of the novel. Gene knew that Finny had no admirations towards him and that made him angered. Gene was hurt when Finn died but he still didn’t change once he went to war or when he came back to visit Devon in his elder years. “He had never been jealous of me for a second.
In Chapter One of How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Thomas C. Foster points out that almost every trip in literature is a quest. The five elements to a quest are: a quester, a place to go, a stated reason to go there, challenges and trials, and the real reason to go. Gene is the quester in A Separate Peace by John Knowles. He visited the Devon School, where he had been a student fifteen years before, to see two “fearful sites,” (Knowles 10). While at the school, he noticed that it looked new, which he found slightly unsettling, for “...it made the school look like a museum...”
He is basically, through rhetorical questions, saying that he does not want to do what Finny does, but it’s like he cannot help it. This is affecting who Gene is as a person because he is not thinking for himself. Is Gene really even himself if Finny is doing the thinking for him? If he is not thinking for himself, he is not being true to himself. Another way that Gene is affected is that he allows his imitation of Finny get in the way of his schooling.
One way Gene’s jealousy and imitation is an effect on his relationship with Finny is that it caused lots of jealousy towards Finny because of his abilities, appearance, and actions. An example of this is when Gene stated “He had gotten away with everything. I felt a sudden stab of disappointment. That was because I just wanted to see some more excitement; that must have been it. " (Knowles).
Gene from John Knowles novel, A Separate Peace, a dynamic character changes in accordance to the events of the story. Gene is a very intelligent student. Throughout the novel we see Gene almost become persuaded by the actions of his friend Phineas. Phineas is a bouncy character who loves sports and doesn’t see the value of studying like Gene. Gene frequently tries to balance his academic and social life, but he gets sick of this balancing act when he backlashes at Phineas for interrupting him from his schoolwork, “Okay, we go.