Good And Evil In John Knowles A Separate Peace

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Human Nature can be both good and evil, we can love people or pray for their failure. In A Separate Peace by John Knowles there is a lot of examples of that throughout the book. The main character, Gene certainly shows many different sides of the good and evil in humans. Gene repents human nature. Gene cares about his own image being better than others. He is in a one-sided constant competition with Finny. When Gene realizes that he does want to be the best student to be even with Finny he contemplates, “I was more and more certainly becoming the best student in the school; Phineas was without question the best athlete, so in that way we were even. But while he was a very poor student I was a pretty good athlete, and when everything was thrown…show more content…
He has tried to do things to redeem himself with Finny. After Quackenbush made fun of Finny and Gene attacked him, ¨I fought that battle, the first skirmish of a long campaign, for Finny. Until the back of my hand had cracked against Quackenbush’s face I had never pictured myself in the role of Finny’s defender, and I didn’t think suppose that he would have thanked me for it now” (79-80). After the event with Finny breaking his leg he quickly defends Finny even though he is not there. He feels the need to because he blames himself for Finny’s injury. Also, he felt ridiculous and shocked when he found out that realized that Finny was never in a competition with him. After Phineas told him that if he needed to study than he should study this made Gene realize, “Now I knew that there never was and never could have been a rivalry between us. I was not of the same quality as he. I couldn’t stand this” (59). He realizes his useless competition mindset and how Finny’s mindset is what made Finny better than Gene. By this he was appalled. He wants to be better and knowing that he can’t it hurt him. On top of that, he worked harder than ever especially with Finny. This can be shown when Gene started doing chin ups for Finny, “At eighteen there was a certain enlargement in his tone, and at an in visible boost lifting me the distance of my arms, until he sang out “thirty!” with a flare of pleasure” (117).
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