When Finny tries to tell Gene that he studies too much he immediately thinks it’s to sabotage him because Gene is a very paranoid. Gene starts to diminish himself and think of himself as a lesser person than Finny. “Any fear I had ever had of the tree was nothing beside this. It wasn 't my neck, but my understanding which was menaced. He had never been jealous of me for a second.
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.
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.
This is a keypoint in the novel which showed Gene at his lowest point where he let his emotions get the bestof him. Throughout the rest of the book Knowles keeps stating Gene’s thoughts of regret andFinny’s disbelief of the situation. In a true friendship, if one was feeling a great amount jealousy,one would most likely talk it through or at least think through the situation instead of trying tocause physical harm to them.Once summer session is over, Brinker Hadley comes into the two boys room unaware ofFinny’s return and asks Gene if he is ready to enlist which they talked about prior to Finny’sreturn. Finny who wanted nothing more to be able to enlist was thinking about losing his bestfriend but reacted differently. He kind of shook it off and went to shower.
Gene is freed of the hatred and jealously that plagued him when Finny was alive. With his new viewpoint on life Gene states, “I was ready for the war, now that I no longer had any hatred to contribute to it. My fury was gone, I felt it gone, dried up at the source, withered and lifeless. Phineas had absorbed it and taken it with him, and I was rid of it forever” (Knowles 203). This quote supports the idea that with the death of Finny, Gene was able to think and act without enmity.
Saying that Gene had nothing to do with his fall made him happy in itself. It shows the trust and loyalty of Finny through the connotation of the sentence. The author choosing Finny to ‘remember’ specific and fond details about Gene. In this example, the author chooses to use word choice as a way to paint the connotation of a sentence to display the loyalty and friendship of Finny to
Gene and Finny went to a lake to swim and decided to jump off a tree into the lake, and when they were about to jump off the tree, Gene "accidentally" pushed Finny off the tree causing Finny to break his leg. Now Gene could be happy, right? Well, Gene in fact was so miserable, he thought about apologizing from that day forward, and when Gene did apologize, Finny forgave him. The end of the book resulted in Finny dying because the bone marrow from his broke leg seeped into his blood stream, and this was all on Gene. Now, Gene has to live knowing his roommate's death was his fault, all because Finny hurt his ego.
When Finny falls down from the tree apparently purges Gene different feelings and steers their friendship in a different direction so that they start connecting to each other rather than hatred characterizing it. From this point on, he and Finny comes together to depend on each other for psychological support. Gene continues to plays sports because Finny cannot, which allows Finny to train him to be the athlete that Finny himself cannot be Finny tells Gene that he once had aspirations to go to the Olympics, and Gene agrees to train for the 1944 Olympics in his place (chapter 6). When Finny became injured, it triggered this new evolution among them to not hate each other but to start caring. This also change the mood of the story from greed to contentment.
The author of An Overview of “A Separate Peace” says that, “he reaches this atmosphere only after separating himself from Phineas and finding his own identity,” (Alton). When Gene had been focused on becoming just like Finny, he was not at peace. However, when Gene starts constructing and discovering his own identity, he has a complete burden lifted from his shoulders, therefore finding his peace. To conclude, Gene finds peace by realizing that Phineas was not the enemy and by finding his own
We find out that his sudden impulses are what causes Gene to shake the branch causing Finny to fall out of the tree and break his leg. In Gene and Finny's last encounter when Gene brings Finny his suit case Gene finds out that Finny believes him, but all that matters is that they are still friends. So Gene finally comes to where he has peace of mind and body after Finny tells him that he believes him. A Separate Peace is a reference to war and how the school and the kids of Devon have never really experienced war first hand. So the school is a separate peace from war because the war has not made its way to Devon yet, and the kids at Devon are also a separate peace because of the way they have no effect on the war and the war has no effect on them and the way they live there life.