Adulthood: for many not part of it, it is seen as a scary, foreign world. The moment one leaves the safety of childhood to become an adult varies between people and cultures. For Gene Forrester, the protagonist in the coming-of-age novel A Separate Peace by John Knowles, adulthood begins with the fall of his friend, Phineas. Set at New Hampshire’s Devon Prep School during the years of 1942-1943, A Separate Peace follows Gene and Phineas until they reach maturity. The moment that Phineas falls from the tree symbolizes when Gene falls from innocence.
Moreover, his character is such that, “He sees the best in people and overlooks anything that is contrary to that view”(Edelstein). And so, he fears in learning the truth of what caused him to plummet down the tree. Although deep in his mind, he finds reason that Gene caused it, he cannot bear to accept his conscience. Synchronously, as Finny tumbles to the Earth, all his dreams and aspirations plummet with him. No longer can he participate in sports and compete in the Olympics, or enlist in the army, another one of his goals.
Friendship A Separate Peace has a very unique description of friendship. Throughout the book, Gene is jealous of Finny’s looks and what he is able to do. Gene has a lot of ambivalent feelings toward Finny. He wants to be Finny, but at the same time he is jealous of him.
“A Separate Peace” portrays how Gene’s envy and imitation affects himself, his relationship with Finny, and how he finds his peace, or lack thereof, at the end of the book. Gene’s envy and imitation of Finny affects him in many ways. He starts to believe he was meant to become a part of Finny. After Finny broke his leg from falling out of a tree, he tells Gene that he must play sports for him. Gene then thinks to himself “and I lost part of myself to him then, and a soaring sense of freedom revealed that this must have been my purpose from the first: to become part of Phineas,” (Knowles 85).
Sometimes internal wars can be fought just as vehemently and result in as many casualties as an external war. John Knowles shows us this in his novel, A Separate Peace. During the time of this story, WW2 rages on, whilst the main character, Gene Forrester, battles his own internal conflicts just as violently.
Strength develops in someone through their experiences which have the ability to make them an emotionally stronger person. A quote by Ernest Hemingway presents that “the world breaks everyone, then some become strong at the broken places.” Even those who suffer the most will have the ability to bounce back at a stronger state. This theme reveals its relevance in A Separate Peace by John Knowles as we analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the main characters, Finny and Gene. Although some may insist that Finny’s emotional state fits the mold of a weak character, I have confidence that Finny has the most inner strength out of the two boys given his description and actions throughout the novel.
Finny is so hurt because he cannot believe that Gene would deliberately hurt him. Finny tells Gene that he understands that Gene acted without really thinking, and Finny forgives Gene. This shows the reader the true personality of Finny. He is kind, carefree, reckless, real, and loves unconditionally. He cannot accept that anyone close to
Devon, an elite boarding school, is highly competitive, forcing students to have envy for one another. In the story Gene’s envy for Finny is a constant theme throughout the book. Working little for his goals, it can be seen that Finny gets everything he wants using his persuasion and athletic abilities . As Finny’s friend it is easy to feel pushed away from the spotlight. Gene thinks everything he does with Finny is a competition.
Adam and Eve had a perfect Garden of Eden, until Eve ate the apple and contaminated the garden. In being tricked by the snake, Eve betrayed God’s word. Mankind has often betrayed others because of the darkness in their heart. In A Separate Peace, John Knowles uses Phineas as a sacrificial lamb to portray Gene’s savage side and demonstrate that peace can never be achieved at a worldwide level until man accepts the darkness in his own heart.
In John Knowles’s novel A Separate Peace Identity is shown as what defines us and makes us be placed in other peoples perspectives. An author can use identity to place characters in the readers mind to portray them a certain way, just as John Knowles did in A Separate peace. An identity can be defined as who a person is inside and out.
In John Knowles’ novel, A Separate Peace, the main character, Gene Forrester, undergoes a traumatic journey to develop the aspects necessary for coping through adulthood. This novel is a flashback to the year of 1942, when Gene attends his final year at Devon High School, in New Hampshire. Although Gene appears to be Finny’s best friend, he follows in Finny’s steps so that his personality clones to be like Finny’s. Finny exposes new experiences that provoke Gene’s development into adulthood. As Gene engages in new experiences, he soon realizes that he envies Finny’s abilities.
Introduction: Gene is a 16 year old boy attending the Devon boarding school in the year 1942. He is an introvert who is trying to find himself throughout the book, A Separate Peace. Gene befriends a boy named Phineas, or Finny. Finny is the exact opposite of Gene, he is an extrovert who likes adventure and breaking rules. The two boys become close friends, but throughout their friendship Gene is jealous of Finny.
The relationship between Gene and Finny changes and evolves, influenced by actions and consequences and filtered by changing perceptions. The changes are frequently by-products of Gene's insecurity and his constant self-evaluation. At times, Gene and Finny are the best of friends, sharing adventures and feelings with complete openness and honesty. At other times, Gene considered Finny to be a rival and a detriment to Gene's ability to all that he could or hoped to accomplish at Devon. This quote helps support how their relationship.
The author, John Knowles, in the novel, “A Separate Peace”, conveys the lesson of friendship, or rather the lack of, with his use of diction. The strategy in which the author phrased certain sections of dialogue between Finny and Gene is there to show that Finny cares for Gene despite Gene’s obvious discontent. The friendship is a one-way street, and the author uses diction to represent this unbalance in the relationship, leading to friendship being a key theme throughout the book. There exist many examples of this diction throughout the novel, one of these is during their illegal beach trip. “I hope you’re having a pretty good time here.