In John Knowles, fictional novel, A Separate Peace, he uses internal conflict to ensure the reader’s understanding of a true friendship. Gene brings Finny’s suitcase to the infirmary, and the boys finally talk about the accident. Finny is an emotional mess and begins to cry. He asks Gene, “It was just some blind impulse you had in the tree there, you didn’t know what you were doing. Was that it” (191)?
A loving friend turns murderer after his retched jealousness and overanalyzing pushes him to new lows. In A Separate Peace by John Knowles, the true character of Gene Forrester is shown as he narrates his point of view of the story. Gene Forrester is a relatable ever changing, humanistic, and someone who is always in contention.
“A Separate Peace” portrays how Gene’s envy and imitation affects himself, his relationship with Finny, and how he finds his peace, or lack thereof, at the end of the book. Gene’s envy and imitation of Finny affects him in many ways. He starts to believe he was meant to become a part of Finny. After Finny broke his leg from falling out of a tree, he tells Gene that he must play sports for him. Gene then thinks to himself “and I lost part of myself to him then, and a soaring sense of freedom revealed that this must have been my purpose from the first: to become part of Phineas,” (Knowles 85).
Even through Gene’s envy and imitation effected his relationship with Finny, he still managed to find peace within everything that happened. Throughout A Separate Peace, Gene found peace within himself and within his relationship with Finny. The first reason this is so is because he (Gene) realizes that Finny isn’t the enemy after all. In An Overview of “A Separate Peace”, Alton states, “
Strength develops in someone through their experiences which have the ability to make them an emotionally stronger person. A quote by Ernest Hemingway presents that “the world breaks everyone, then some become strong at the broken places.” Even those who suffer the most will have the ability to bounce back at a stronger state. This theme reveals its relevance in A Separate Peace by John Knowles as we analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the main characters, Finny and Gene. Although some may insist that Finny’s emotional state fits the mold of a weak character, I have confidence that Finny has the most inner strength out of the two boys given his description and actions throughout the novel.
Finny wore a pink shirt and used the Devon School tie as his belt to the traditional term tea for the Upper Middle class. Mrs. Patch-Withers noticed and Finny quickly came up with a convincing story to possibly get himself out of trouble. Gene thinks Finny will be busted and reacts by saying, “I could feel myself becoming unexpectedly excited at that” (Knowles 12). This quote shows the beginning of the envy Gene feels toward Finny. Gene is somewhat looking forward to the possibility of Finny getting in trouble for the first time. Gene is secretly jealous of the charm that Finny possesses, and he wants something to go wrong for Finny. Throughout the novel he shows a range of emotions toward Finny and this effects their friendship. He is dynamic,
Although he lives, Gene is ultimately the one truly destroyed by his envy. Gene has many theories that Finny is trying to trick or misguide him, sending him into a jealous rage. Thinking Finny was against him, Gene started to uncover Finny’s real intentions. ”That way he, the great athlete, would be ahead of me. It
Another reason why a Separate Peace is a pessimistic novel is because it tells of a character who maliciously expressed his pettiness and jealousy to his friend through harm. During the entire novel Gene is rude to Finny for an unreasonable and unrealistic reason and “jounces the limb” to prove it. Gene’s jealousy of Finny’s natural talent drove their friendship to the point where it slowly disintegrates into anarchy and denial. All of these roots stemmed off from the moment when Gene- in his moment of hesitancy- shook the limb so that Finny would fall and shatter his leg ultimately crippling him from playing any physical sport ever again. Throughout the entire novel, Finny was completely unaware that his best friend would ever hurt him in such a way.
Charles Kuralt once said, “ The love of family and the admirations of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege.” This quote shows how jealousy and popularity aren’t as important as relationships in your life. In the book, A Separate Peace, Gene has different priorities than relationships. Gene, a young boy who attends Devon boarding school, goes through many different trials along his grade school journey. He faces problems with friends and school life during the time of World War two and the draft being in full swing.
In a Separate Peace , it tells the story of Gene’s change from being innocent and making atrocious decisions, to adulthood. At the beginning of the novel, Gene is guiltless and unconcerned, he is an exemplary student with few preoccupations such as studying and being friends with Finny. However, as the novel advances, Gene cultivates another side of his personality. One with dark motives and a great deal of jealousy. One choice, a
Gene’s loss of innocence is demonstrated by his intent to hurt Phineas, the change from summer to winter, and the Devon students’ involvement in World War II. Finny’s fall is symbolic of a fall from innocence. To start, Gene’s belief that Finny was trying to sabotage his education evokes doubt about their friendship. In order to outdo Finny, Gene “…took a step toward him, and then my knees bent and I jounced the limb.
“Our minds are a battle ground between good and bad ideas; we are whatever side wins the battle” Bangambiki Habyarimana, The Great Pearl of Wisdom. The struggle between good and evil is found universally. In the novel A Separate Peace, Gene Forrester struggles between his own inner good and evil. Gene's actions often reflect his feelings, leading him to trouble, giving the illusion that Gene is filled with more evil than good. However, Gene's goodness can be found even through dark times.
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
Guilt is a funny concept, that has a different affects on different people. Guilt can cause some to confess and it releases the burden, but for those who take long to confess, it can turn into a negative reaction that can cripple your emotions. A Separate Peace is set in a boarding school in New England. Gene, a main character, is an incisive introvert whose best friend, Phineas, is a handsome athlete. When an accident occurs over the Summer, that leaves Gene and Finny hurt in some way, what comes next could take a toll on their friendship.
Gene’s relationship with his “best friend” Phineas describes how the relationship resulted in the killing of Gene's enemy, his own youth, and innocence. Gene is plainly described in the novel as envious of Finny, he is also depicted as the position of much hatred and dismay by his peers. Therefore, the fact that Gene kills his own youth is likely considering Finny’s success, Gene’s jealousy towards