Humanness And Sympathy In John Knowles's A Separate Peace

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Gene is mean
Gene heard the news, Finny is dead. Gene never wanted this. Although Gene has lied to Finny multiple times and pushed him out of a tree, Gene feels as if part of him has died. His best friend, dead, from a medical accident. As perfect as Finny is, he is not invincible. Gene has not been the kindest to Finny but certainly would not want Finny gone. In John Knowles’ A Separate Peace, Gene is not worthy of sympathy because of his selfish and dishonest personality, but deserves forgiveness due to being on the brink of joining the war and his eventual maturing.
Gene is not deserving of sympathy because he is selfish. Gene is paranoid. Not in the sense that he has a mental illness, in the sense that when it comes to Finny, everything Finny does correlates to him. At
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This so called competition is derived from when Finny jokes around and says he would “kill [him]self” if Gene did better on a test than him (28). While Finny is not being serious, Gene believes his tone is a “screen”, and goes into a tangent of disbelief (28). “You are both coldy driving yourselves ahead alone”, Gene says to himself, feeling as though this feud is a straight out war fought in the trenches of their studies and athletic recreations. Gene is in such “misery”, that he thinks that Finny is out to “wreck his studies” (28). It is perplexing figuring out how from one joke Finny told, that Finny is trying to sabotage Gene. Gene lacks rationality and overblows Finny’s actions many times. While one would assume that Gene will learn from his previous experiences with Finny that he is a good person, Gene does not. Gene’s villizanation of Finny during their feud comes after Finny “had practically saved [his] life”, by preventing Gene from falling off the tree and possibly “broken [his] back” (13). To make it worse,

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