Imagine if you went to an all boy school and had one friend who overshadows you in every aspect of your life. Falling under his shadow all of the time, you could never find peace with yourself. How would you feel? This is how Gene felt standing alongside his friend Finny when he attended Devon School. There were numerous traits that Finny possessed that caused Gene to envy him. Consequently, Gene had a low self-esteem and greatly desired to be exactly like Finny. This resulted in Gene losing control of himself and acting negatively towards Finny. Gene’s jealousy of Finny’s appearance, athletic abilities, prominence, and morals ultimately resulted in the tragic death of Finny. Finny’s physical appearance is one of the main attributes that sparked …show more content…
The day they went to the beach together was the first time Gene realized that Finny was remarkably charming. Extensively describing Finny at the beach, Gene says, “His skin radiated a reddish copper glow of tan, his brown hair had been a little bleached by the sun, and I noticed that the tan made his eyes shine with a cool blue-green fire” (Knowles 87). Like everyone else, Gene thought his physical appearance wasn’t as appealing as that of those around him, especially that of Finny, and that Finny looked like someone who could never be brought down. He also envied that Finny was able to wear a pink shirt without appearing like a fairy. “He did wear it. No one else in the school could have done so without some risk of having it torn from his back” (Knowles 41). These instances along with others, resulted in Gene wanted to be Finny. He mainly shows this when he tries on Finny’s clothes while he is …show more content…
His jealousy gradually increased and caused Finny to be Gene’s true enemy. When Gene jounced the limb and knocked Finny out of the tree, it was his jealousy rising to the surface and taking action against Finny. According to a study on jealousy, “Adolescents that are lonely or have low self-worth reported greater vulnerability to jealousy” (American Psychological Association). This act of causing Finny to fall out of the tree helps with Gene’s jealousy towards Finny’s athletic ability and made Gene feel a little better about himself. “It was the first clumsy physical action I had ever seen him make” (Knowles 111). Since Finny could never participate in sports again subsequent to the accident, this sought out an opportunity for Gene to become a part of Finny. For example, it has always been a dream of Finny’s to enter in the Olympics, but now that he can’t participate, he wants Gene to train for the Olympics and fulfill Finny’s dream. Also, Gene jouncing the limb set off a chain of events that ultimately caused Finny to fall down the marble staircase and later, die while the docor was resetting the bone in his leg. After his tragic death, Gene feels relieved as if his death was his ultimate goal, not necessarily to kill Finny, but to terminate his extreme jealousy of everything about him. From this, Gene feels as if he no longer lives in the shadow of someone else and that he can be Finny now
Later in the book finny would realize that is a big mistake when he is pushed in the river and breaks a bone .This is the downfall of finny's sports career. Gene is bitter character that is not good at sports like
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?”
In the end, Gene is getting affected through the use of envy and intimidation, and it’s hurting his relations with Finny. In the novel, “A Separate Peace”, Gene’s envy and intimidation affects his relations with Finny. One way the relationship is affected is by Gene trying on FInny’s clothes, giving him a boost of confidence. In the story, it states,”...that I will never stumble through the confusions of my own character again.” (Knowles 54.)
“Then a second realization broke as clearly and bleakly as dawn at the beach. Finny had deliberately set out to wreck my studies.” (24) Gene thinks this after going to the beach with Finny and ruining his grade because of the lack of studying due to his time spent having fun. This is just one example of how Gene thinks there's some sort of ongoing competition between themselves, causing Gene to be extremely jealous, self concerning and over analyzing about every situation instead of just enjoying the fun the two have as Finny does. Even though Gene acts like this he is still very friendly and a good person.
In John Knowles’ novel, A Separate Peace, the main character, Gene Forrester, undergoes a traumatic journey to develop the aspects necessary for coping through adulthood. This novel is a flashback to the year of 1942, when Gene attends his final year at Devon High School, in New Hampshire. Although Gene appears to be Finny’s best friend, he follows in Finny’s steps so that his personality clones to be like Finny’s. Finny exposes new experiences that provoke Gene’s development into adulthood. As Gene engages in new experiences, he soon realizes that he envies Finny’s abilities.
He still encourages Gene to do the things that Finny no longer can because he wants to see someone else flourish, and most importantly: his friend. After Finny’s death, Gene even declares that “nothing … had broken [Finny’s] harmonious and natural unity” (Knowles 203). Since Gene exclaims this, the reader understands that Finny
They are supposed to be best friends, but Gene envies him and thinks he is trying to make him look bad. After Finny’s accident, Gene struggled with guilt and his life was changed because of it. “I spent as much time as I could alone in our room, trying to empty my mind of every thought, to forget where I was, even who I was. One evening when I was dressing for dinner in this numbed frame of mind, an idea occurred to me, the first with any energy behind it since Finny fell from the tree. I decided to put on his clothes” (Knowles 29).
Gene believes that Finny and he hate each other, until he realizes Finny’s pureness, which Gene can not stand. At first, Gene believes that Finny wants to exceed him, and that the two are rivals. Everyone at Devon likes Finny. The teachers adore him, the students look up to him, the athletes aspire
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.
Finny used to ask Gene to go and do other things instead of studying. Gene normally did what Finny asked. Gene decided that Finny was trying to hurt him when they story states, “Suddenly he turned his fire against me, he betrayed several of his other friends,” and he was doing things on his own (102). The second stage of Finny and Gene’s friendship is betrayal and guilt.
throughout the whole novel, Gene has envied Finny’s superb athletic ability. Gene’s mind is not in the right place while the boys are both on the limb together. Knowles shows this when Gene takes the step of betrayal. Knowles writes in Genes perspective, “Holding firmly to the trunk, I took a step toward him, and then my knees bent and I jounced the limb” (60). Gene was out for Finny because he thought Finny was trying to be better than everyone else.
Gene wanted Finny to get in trouble for what Finny had did, which had worn his tie as a belt. He hated that Finny got away with almost anything that he did wrong and wanted to go down someday. Another way their relationship is affected is through Gene’s lack of self-finding and liking. Gene hated that he never was like Finny, so he started to acting and do things that Finny did. That caused a lot of jealousy, guilt, and self-destruction from throughout the relationship that Gene and Finny had.
“Envy is ignorance; imitation is suicide” (Emerson 138). In John Knowles’ “A Separate Peace,” Gene becomes so envious of his friend Finny that he starts to act like him; he was jealous of Finny’s capability of getting away with anything, and he also feels bitter because he sees Finny as being better than himself. Although it started as common friendship envy, it grew into a terrible animosity damaging the relationship between these two characters. For starters, Gene and Finny’s friendship is an uncommon one. They are somehow the opposite of each other: Gene is a smart, introverted guy while Finny is the athletic, extroverted one.
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.
Since Finny cannot play sports anymore because of his broken leg, he tells Gene that he has to do it for him. Gene realizes that this is his destiny; to become an extension of Phineas. Another way he is affected is that he starts to lose his own ways by copying Finny. When Finny was in the hospital wing of the school, Gene put his clothes on and said “that I would never stumble through the confessions