In John Knowles’s novel A Separate Peace Identity is shown as what defines us and makes us be placed in other peoples perspectives. An author can use identity to place characters in the readers mind to portray them a certain way, just as John Knowles did in A Separate peace. An identity can be defined as who a person is inside and out. Knowles makes the vision the reader grasps of every character sharp and in focus. A Separate peace goes in depth to every character to give them a specific identity. Throughout the book Knowles brings up key qualities of each character to make the situation different. As a reader follows the story the identity of the character develops further and further. By doing this the author leaves the reader always wanting …show more content…
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. Overall Gene is known to be the character that has worries and lets emotional situations get the best of him. Continuously throughout the story Gene allows what happens to Finny and the world around him slowly bring him down. The war acts as another filler for disaster in society and can get the best of the boys who are preparing to fight in it. Therefore Gene’s identity in A Separate Peace defines him as the weaker one the one who is sensitive. The first identity of Phineas is developed when the Devon boys all go to jump out of the large tree near the river. As Finny leads the way and leaps off the limb into the Adams 2 river below, he is given the Identity of a brave leader as well as the more daring one. He is the one with out a care to the
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In John Knowles A Separate Peace he writes about the transition from childhood to adolescence. In this coming of age novel taking place in the 1950’s two teenage boys Finny and Gene form a relationship based on fear and adventure. The two opposite teens, finny a outgoing basically perfect teen and gene being a lesser perfect balances out the relationship between the two. The fact that they are somewhat minor opposites aren’t the only thing that brings the two together. Finny’s fear of anything bad or evil and gene’s fear of hitting rock bottom forms a relationship between the two teens which sets the stage for us all.
Gene’s envy and imitation of Finny affects Gene greatly. Gene’s feelings cause him to be much more aggressive. For instance, on page 191, Finny told Gene, “it wasn’t anything you really felt against me, it wasn’t some
Finny brings Gene along wherever he goes, and makes sure that Gene gets involved. Also, Finny strives to break Gene’s shell of academics so they can live life to the fullest. There are those who argue that Finny uses Gene to protect himself from taking the blame. There’s a chance that the only reason he keeps Gene is to have a safety net. Although, Finny can talk his way out of any situation that is set before him; Finny gets away with telling a Head Master ‘’No’’ without repercussion.
Gene continues to struggle to cope with his actions, he is at war with his conscience. The novel being told in first person is crucial to the reader's knowledge of Gene’s feelings and thoughts. Without insight into Gene’s thoughts, the novel would be able to portray the theme surrounding internal warfare. Gene has many regretful thoughts concerning Finny’s fall throughout the remainder of the novel. One example can be found in chapter seven.
Gene still comes off to Finny like they are still friends but that soon comes to a change when Gene kicks Finny of of a tree branch and he shatters his leg which ends his athletic career. Towards the end of the book gene seems to think that he will now be the sports star since Finny is injured, Gene soon goes to the infirmary where Finny is and tells him that it was Gene’s fault for Finny falling off the tree and Gene apologizes, later the doctor is operating on Finny’s leg where some bone marrow gets in his blood system and he dies. The climax of A Separate Peace is when Gene feels that Finny is a morally superior person. Finny then suggest for them to all climb a tree together.
Gene had achieved peace. His separation from finny allowed him to do things for his own self such as think. According to “An Overview of a Separate Peace “,” He reaches this atmosphere only after separating himself from Phineas and finding his own identity” (Alton).When finny dies Gene notices his significance of his self in school and in life. Another reason is that he enlists in the war. Before he died, Finny enlisted into every branch he could and no one accepted him.
Finny was the only competition that angered Gene, and that he could not get away from. Gene decides to hurt Finny, demonstrating to himself that he does not care for Finny. He separates himself from Finny and now shows himself his true intentions. Gene ultimately discovers the darker, macabre side of himself that shows no remorse for ending the dreams of a classmate. He does not even come to his aid as he falls: “Finny, his balance gone, swung his head around to look at me for an instant with extreme interest”.(25).
Gene and Finny show the reader that the need for independence is effective in the novel and in reality. After the accident, the two teenagers rely on each other more and more since Finny needs Gene to play sports for him, and Gene needs and wants to become a part of Finny, if not completely change into him. This proves to be a flaw as they lose their personal identities while melding into a single entity. “I did not cry then or ever about Finny. I did not cry even when I stood watching him being lowered into his family’s strait-laced burial ground outside of Boston.
Gene and Phineas they always had their ups and downs. They both contended about who was the top of the class which caused Gene to develop a sense of hatred and envy towards Finny because he knew that Phineas was the best athlete of the school with no doubt ,and Gene wanted to be the top of the class in order to be even with him. It is because of the way Gene is feeling about Finny that he releases his feelings when he climbed the same tree with Finny for the second time. Gene decided to shake the branch of the tree and witnesses Phineas fall off the tree breaking his leg. At this point, Gene does not care about Phineas anymore and does not realize that he has ended Finny's athletic career.
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
In Gene's younger days, he is carefree and thinks only of himself. Maturity becomes more prominent when Gene confesses his evil against Finny. By the end of the novel, Gene overcomes the battle of good vs evil within and observes, "... 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." (A Separate Peace, 110).
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.
The friendship Gene and Finny have throughout the story slowly changes to envy that Gene portrays towards Finny as a result of his jealousy. Finny is only one of those sort of gentlemen that is extremely understood and individuals truly like. However, Finny is the kind of individual who is great at everything including sports and talking himself out of trouble. For example, Finny breaking the school swimming recorded lead to Gene being desirous. Gene predicts that Finny is attempting to show off his athletic ability.
Even through Gene’s envy and imitation effected his relationship with Finny, he still managed to find peace within everything that happened. Throughout A Separate Peace, Gene found peace within himself and within his relationship with Finny. The first reason this is so is because he (Gene) realizes that Finny isn’t the enemy after all. In An Overview of “A Separate Peace”, Alton states, “