Analysis Of Gene's Jealousy In John Knowles 'A Separate Peace'

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A Separate Peace: Gene’s Jealousy Friendship and jealousy are strong emotions with a fine line in between them. Gene and Finny’s friendship started how a normal friendship would. Then Gene becomes convinced that Finny is out to get him and is trying to ruin his life at Devon. Gene hates Finny because of this, and thinks the feeling is mutual between them as is written by John Knowles. “I felt better. Yes, I sensed it like the sweat of relief when nausea passes away; I felt better. We were even after all, even in enmity. The deadly rivalry was on both sides after all.” (Page 54) This is an example of how common jealousy can grow and fester into hatred. “This is a personal war of one competing ego in which Gene’s rivalry with his best friend Finny results in Finny’s tragic accident, and then his tragic death.” While competition and jealousy may be normal, it’s how someone handles it in their life that makes the difference. There are many ways to deal with anger and jealousy but it is important to identify whether or not the jealousy and hatred are justified. In this story it’s not justified, it’s not real. Gene lets his anger and jealousy fester inside him to the point where he shakes the tree branch that…show more content…
At the same time Finny lost some of his innocence when he comes to realize that Gene caused his accident. “I never killed anybody and I never developed an intense level of hatred for the enemy. 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. Only Phineas never was afraid, only Phineas never hated anyone.” (Page 204) Gene, allowing himself to act on his jealousy, ultimately resulted in the death of his best friend Finny “By the end of the novel, Gene has accepted both his own guilt and the gift of Finny’s friendship. The experience has helped him to grow into an insightful, responsible, and compassionate
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