Examples Of Desires In John Knowles 'A Separate Peace'

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Beware of Desires “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else 's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation,” observed Oscar Wilde. In the fictional novel, A Separate Peace by John Knowles two best friends, Gene and Finny, both go to an elite boys ' private school in New Hampshire. Finny is a natural born leader and an athlete that easily succeeds in everything he does. Meanwhile, Gene is a bookworm that tries his best to be as successful as Finny. Gene becomes more and more jealous of Finny’s identity and therefore has to fight an internal battle against himself as his desire to be like Finny grows stronger and eventually leads to a tragedy. Gene is jealous of Finny because he can get away with anything. However, jealousy isn’t just a random feeling, it is a desire to obtain something that others have - sometimes no matter what the cost is. In the beginning of the novel, Finny decides to wear his pink shirt that his mom sent him, even though it was against school rules. Gene thinks that Finny is going to get in trouble for wearing a non-school uniform, but instead begins to understand that, “Phineas could get away with anything” (Knowles 25). The moment Gene realizes that Finny can escape the punishments he “couldn 't help envying him that a little” (Knowles 25). That was the first …show more content…

Gene first begins with a simple jealousy for his friend. That jealousy leads him to yearn to become like Finny, which in Gene’s eyes is considered godlike. Later, Gene’s desire becomes so strong that he ruins Finny’s life in order to take his identity, but at the end realizes, that he destroyed Finny’s life for nothing. Therefore, beware of desires, since they could lead to catastrophic events that might change the life of everyone

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