Character Analysis In John Knowles 'A Separate Peace'

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Gene is mean
Gene heard the news, Finny is dead. Gene never would have wanted this to happen. Although Gene has lied to Finny multiple times and pushed him out of a tree, Gene feels as if part of him has died. His best friend is dead from a medical accident, of all things. As perfect as Finny is, he is not invincible. Gene has not been the kindest to Finny but certainly would not want Finny gone. In John Knowles’ A Separate Peace, Gene is not worthy of sympathy because of his selfish and dishonest personality, but deserves forgiveness because he is on the brink of joining the war and matures.
Gene is not deserving of sympathy because he is selfish. When it comes to Finny, Gene feels as everything Finny does has to do with him. At one point,
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To rid himself anger, he unleashes his rage on others, punching Quackenbush, kicking the chair out of Leper, and causing Finny to fall from the tree. In order to justify his defamation of Finny, he believed that Finny is out to sabotage him. Gene is constantly paranoid about Finny. To him, Finny is abusive and manipulative. In reality, Finny is his best friend who cares for him. After causing Finny to shatter his leg, he lies to him and the other boys in order to divert the blame from him. All in all, Finny is not a righteous person and does not deserve sympathy. He does deserve forgivenes, as he matures and is in school right before the war. Gene lives during one of the most stressful times in history. Right after school, Gene and the other boys will join the war. The amount of stress and depression that they must have felt is saddening. To come to terms with the knowledge that after school, you will need to kill other people and probably die is unbearable. Mind you, they are only teenagers. Also, Gene has matured from the beginning of the novel. When Finny dies, Gene feels as if the “funeral” was his “own” (105). Finny was a huge part in Gene’s life. Gene feels incomplete now and recognizes that Finny was not a villain he makes him out to be. When Gene visits the Devon school later in his life, he notes how “hard” the “marble stairs” were, surprised that he “overlooked that crucial fact” (2). Gene never forgets about what happened on those stairs. It is what he thinks about all the time. He regrets his decisions he made years before. Although he does not deserve sympathy for his actions, as he hurts many people, he has changed and deserves
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