How Does Gene's Change In A Separate Peace

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Within the pages of A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, the main character Gene goes through a multitude of changes; in his life and in his being. Living at Devon, an all-boys private school in scenic New England, gives his changes even less room to grow and adapt in such a secluded environment. At the center of these dramatic changes is his relationship with his closest friend Finny. A tipping point in this relationship is when Gene makes the decision to “jounce the limb” of the tree he and Finny are standing on, causing Finny to fall and cripple himself. After this point, compared to before it, Gene’s nature becomes much worse, darkening and filling with anger and guilt. Starting at the beginning of the novel, Finny and Gene’s relationship …show more content…

His once glowing feelings for Finny begin to change as he stands in the tree during one of the first meetings, questioning “What was I doing up here anyway? Why did I let Finny talk me into stupid things like this? Was he getting some kind of hold over me?” (32.) The continuation of these meets in the tree triggers Gene to make the snap decision that changes himself for the …show more content…

He starts out the novel as a boy, completely passive, and slowly transitions to a man of violence and aggression. His progression on this dark path has its tipping point with his purposeful injuring of Finny, “his best friend.” After that fact, Gene becomes prone to fighting, lying and slacking off. With the added backdrop of World War II, the change in Gene is not all unexpected during that time. But, in Gene’s case, he let the war, both the real and internal one, take hold of his mind and lead him to destruction. Anger and guilt consume him for most of the novel until Finny’s untimely death. Gene in comparison to before he “jounced the limb” and caused Finny’s fall, is much darker, fueled by his negative emotions and

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