Gene struggled to establish his own identity because he was always under the influence of Finny. Even when the relationship became toxic and Gene had an underlying jealousy for Finn, he lacked the confidence to break out of his comfort zone and be an independent person. Gene always believed he was in the shadow of his counterpart Finny; there was always an underlying feeling of jealousy which ultimately was the cause behind Gene making Finny fall out of the tree. His actions on the tree was even a shock to him, it made him aware for the first time of his own inner feelings towards Finny. “That level of feelings, deeper than thought which contains the truth,” (140) for actions speak louder than words and on that particular day Gene’s actions portrayed a side of himself that he refused to believe existed prior to the accident.
In A Separate Peace, both Finny and Gene had difficulty accepting a friend's shortcomings. Finny refused to believe that Gene caused him to fall from the tree. Finny denied Gene's fault because it shattered the image of a perfect best friend, someone who was supposed to be there for him, not there to kill him. When Gene tried to confess, he remarked to himself, "It struck me then that I was injuring him again. It occurred to me that this could be an even deeper injury than what I had done before."
The first major scene with loss of innocence in the story is when Gene shakes the tree limb and this causes Finny to fall from the tree and shatter his leg, ruining his future for sports, fighting in the war, and even walking correctly. In the scene before Gene shook the tree limb, he grew paranoid and assumed that Finny was attempting to sabotage Gene’s grades by hosting the club meeting and expecting him to go, and Finny denied the accusation. Gene internally can’t stand how perfect and pure Finny’s character is and it eats away at him, which is what caused him to do what he did with the tree. The following quote from Professor Ellis is a perfect example of the change inside Gene and what caused him to ruin Finny’s life. “Confronted with the evident truth of Finny’s denial, Gene understands his inferiority to Phineas and his own moral ugliness, made the more so when juxtaposed to Finny’s innocence.
Considering Gene is the cause of Finny’s severe injury, the guilt begins to completely occupy his life. Gene understands that he had not only caused harm to Finny when he pushed him off the tree, but he had taken away his opportunity to live his life to its fullest as Finny 's life revolved around sports. When Finny asks him if Gene could show him how the incident happens, Gene reaches his breaking point and shouts “No, I don’t know how to show you, how can I show you, Finny? Tell me how to show you. It was just some ignorance inside me, some crazy thing inside me, something blind, that’s all it was!”(104).
Huckleberry can also sense when someone is not a good person. For example, despite not attending church or school, Huck could sense that Injun Joe was a bad person based upon his actions. Therefore, Huckleberry Finn should not be considered “lawless”. In spite of these reasons, some readers may believe that the description “lawless and vulgar and bad” fits Huck because he steals and loafs around. In reality, Huck is unable to control his circumstances, which justifies why he must act lawless occasionally.
They were seen as useless and as extra mouths to feed. Candy faces the endless fear that the boss will fire him once he loses his worth on the farm. Candy’s fears are portrayed when Carlson shoots his old dog because the dog is too old to be of use. He tells Lennie
The loss of innocence does not limit to the permanent loss of an innate human quality, however; it can also be a physical loss. Tom Robinson is forced to give up on his innocence, but unlike Jean-Louise, he does not manage to adapt to the cruelty of the world and refuses to accept it, naively believing that if he escape it and leave it behind, it will turn untrue. Similarly to Boo Radley, the burden of the reality is too heavy for the characters to carry and they get crushed under its weight. Tom and Arthur embody the nature of innocence, which refuses to let go until the very last moment and is therefore, either murdered or forcefully kept hidden from the public eye. It is from those characters the reader learns that innocence is precious and fragile
Survival is the act of doing what you need to do to stay alive, however sometimes people go too far. In Lord of the Flies by William Golding the boy’s actions result in their loss of identity and could be argued that it was only because of their survival instincts. However some of the boys’ actions cannot be blamed on the harsh conditions and human survival instincts. Some of these include Rodger and his brutality to children and animals, Jack and obsession with becoming a leader, and the gruesome murder of Piggy. All of these events were unnecessary to the survival of the boys’ and actually resulted in unwanted deaths and situations.
He even spends time away from his family in order to accomplish the goal that he had for himself. All of this causes him to suffer because of the negative consequences that it brought him. Victor even said “Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge”. He admits that he suffered from his relentless search of knowledge.
“..part of what got him into trouble was that he did too much thinking. Sometimes he tried too hard to make sense of the world.” (pg 18) McCandless spent too much time thinking of the world's flaws, it pained him, in turn he chose to live a type of transcendental life. The life that ultimately bid him death, a big part of it at least. The second part that ruined him to this life was his tendency to act out of anger. At the fault of his father, he reacted rashly.