“Because my war ended before I ever put on a uniform; I was on active duty all my time of school; I killed my enemy there” (Knowles, 204). A Separate Peace, written by John Knowles, was taken place at Devon High in the mid 1940’s, in the New England area during WWII. The main character, Gene, is a very smart, but envious and imitative kid that returns back to his school later in life to find peace within himself and past conflicts. Gene’s envious and imitative actions have had many affects within himself, others, and his future, but has found peace throughout everything. Gene’s envy and imitation of Finny affects him a lot throughout the novel. One way Gene is affected throughout A Separate Peace is when he explains his self-destruction. …show more content…
One way Gene’s jealousy and imitation is an effect on his relationship with Finny is that it caused lots of jealousy towards Finny because of his abilities, appearance, and actions. An example of this is when Gene stated “He had gotten away with everything. I felt a sudden stab of disappointment. That was because I just wanted to see some more excitement; that must have been it." (Knowles). Gene wanted Finny to get in trouble for what Finny had did, which had worn his tie as a belt. He hated that Finny got away with almost anything that he did wrong and wanted to go down someday. Another way their relationship is affected is through Gene’s lack of self-finding and liking. Gene hated that he never was like Finny, so he started to acting and do things that Finny did. That caused a lot of jealousy, guilt, and self-destruction from throughout the relationship that Gene and Finny had. Even through Gene’s envy and imitation effected his relationship with Finny, he still managed to find peace within everything that happened. Throughout A Separate Peace, Gene found peace within himself and within his relationship with Finny. The first reason this is so is because he (Gene) realizes that Finny isn’t the enemy after all. In An Overview of “A Separate Peace”, Alton states, “In the end
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In the novel, A Separate Peace by John Knolls Gene's and Finny's friendship with one another brings out each character's virtue or true self. Gene is the smartest kid at the Devon school , and Finny is very athletic. Finny's athletic ability is what leads to the rivalry because Gene wants to be able to achieve an athletic ability like Finny. This novel tells the story in Gene's point of view of how he has grown into adulthood during World War II. The author John Knolls does not give a very good view of Finny because the story is through Gene's eyes where Gene envy's Finny.
A Separate Peace, Unit Test Hamza Eldohiri The story “A Separate Peace”, written by John Knowles, was written at the time and takes place during World War II when battles and conflicts amongst nations were evident. Each nation involved struggled and fought their hardest in order to satisfy the good of their nation. Not only is the setting in the story taking place during this time of quarrel, the story also demonstrates areas of self-conflict and an internal battle throughout. The characters in “A Separate Peace”, are described as experiencing this self-conflicting, internal battle. Gene (also the narrator) is specifically depicted as he goes through his battle in life.
“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).
“Then a second realization broke as clearly and bleakly as dawn at the beach. Finny had deliberately set out to wreck my studies.” (24) Gene thinks this after going to the beach with Finny and ruining his grade because of the lack of studying due to his time spent having fun. This is just one example of how Gene thinks there's some sort of ongoing competition between themselves, causing Gene to be extremely jealous, self concerning and over analyzing about every situation instead of just enjoying the fun the two have as Finny does. Even though Gene acts like this he is still very friendly and a good person.
On page 201-202 of A Separate Peace Gene narrates “I myself had often been happy at Devon, but such times it seemed to me that afternoon were over now.” This quote shows how Gene was changed from a carefree student to a worried soon-to-be solider. The troops only add to the feelings of sadness because of Finny's death since Gene sees what the future holds. Overall, John Knowles’ fictional book A Separate Peace has many themes.
Guilt is a funny concept, that has a different affects on different people. Guilt can cause some to confess and it releases the burden, but for those who take long to confess, it can turn into a negative reaction that can cripple your emotions. A Separate Peace is set in a boarding school in New England. Gene, a main character, is an incisive introvert whose best friend, Phineas, is a handsome athlete. When an accident occurs over the Summer, that leaves Gene and Finny hurt in some way, what comes next could take a toll on their friendship.
“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.
He still encourages Gene to do the things that Finny no longer can because he wants to see someone else flourish, and most importantly: his friend. After Finny’s death, Gene even declares that “nothing … had broken [Finny’s] harmonious and natural unity” (Knowles 203). Since Gene exclaims this, the reader understands that Finny
Overall Gene is known to be the character that has worries and lets emotional situations get the best of him. Continuously throughout the story Gene allows what happens to Finny and the world around him slowly bring him down. The war acts as another filler for disaster in society and can get the best of the boys who are preparing to fight in it. Therefore Gene’s identity in A Separate Peace defines him as the weaker one the one who is sensitive.
He is basically, through rhetorical questions, saying that he does not want to do what Finny does, but it’s like he cannot help it. This is affecting who Gene is as a person because he is not thinking for himself. Is Gene really even himself if Finny is doing the thinking for him? If he is not thinking for himself, he is not being true to himself. Another way that Gene is affected is that he allows his imitation of Finny get in the way of his schooling.
They are supposed to be best friends, but Gene envies him and thinks he is trying to make him look bad. After Finny’s accident, Gene struggled with guilt and his life was changed because of it. “I spent as much time as I could alone in our room, trying to empty my mind of every thought, to forget where I was, even who I was. One evening when I was dressing for dinner in this numbed frame of mind, an idea occurred to me, the first with any energy behind it since Finny fell from the tree. I decided to put on his clothes” (Knowles 29).
Finny used to ask Gene to go and do other things instead of studying. Gene normally did what Finny asked. Gene decided that Finny was trying to hurt him when they story states, “Suddenly he turned his fire against me, he betrayed several of his other friends,” and he was doing things on his own (102). The second stage of Finny and Gene’s friendship is betrayal and guilt.
Without forgiveness, Gene would still be living in fear and hate, buried by his burden. Gene learns tremendously from his experiences. All his enemies were imagined, there was no need for “Maginot Lines” to protect himself from an enemy that didn’t exist. After Finny’s funeral Gene becomes “Phineas-filled” and his “war is over before it ever begins.” Gene realizes, “I was ready for the war, now that I no longer had any hatred to contribute to it.
The first reason why Gene finds peace is because he realizes that Phineas was not the enemy and that the real enemy was himself. He describes the realization by saying, “All of them, all except Phineas, constructed at infinite cost to themselves these Maginot Lines against this enemy who they thought they saw across the frontier, this enemy who never attacked that way--if he was indeed the enemy.” (Knowles 204). At this point, in the end of the story, Gene recognizes that he was fighting a battle against someone who was not fighting back, and that the person he thought was the enemy was not actually the enemy. Next, Gene also gains peace because he finds his own identity after Phineas dies.