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Good Vs. Evil In A Separate Peace

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“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. Inherent evil does not lie in Gene Forrester because he desires to be the best he can be, he feels guilt, and matures from adolescence to adulthood. Gene strives to be the best he can be. For example, he wants to become class valedictorian. "You want to be head of the class, valedictorian, so you can make a speech on Graduation Day..." (A…show more content…
In the beginning of the novel, Gene returns to Devon to understand what happened in 1942. This is important because Gene seeks to console the guilt he has faced. Furthermore, Gene shows his shame after Finny was jounced off the tree. Remorse over Finny's injury ate Gene up, causing Gene to not participate in sports. Gene feels disgrace while in the infirmary thinking, "If Phineas had been sitting here in this pool of guilt...what would he have done?" (A Separate Peace, 31). Feelings of guilt prove Gene's goodness. Someone who is truly evil would not feel guilty of their wrongdoings. Lastly, Gene's goodness is evident through his maturity as he ends the battle against himself. In Gene's younger days, he is carefree and thinks only of himself. Maturity becomes more prominent when Gene confesses his evil against Finny. By the end of the novel, Gene overcomes the battle of good vs evil within and observes, "...my war ended before I ever put on a uniform; I was on active duty all my time at school; I killed my enemy there." (A Separate Peace, 110). Gene realizes evil had been within
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