Strength In A Separate Peace By John Knowles

998 Words4 Pages
Everyone has a different definition of what strength means. In this novel strength is addressed several times, but they were different types of strength. Finny is a strong athlete, Gene is a strong academic student, Finny shows strength by accepting his injury, and Gene has strong contradicting feelings about his friendship with Finny. All in all strength is measured by opinions and that’s just the truth. Throughout this book Gene is a very confusing character with a complex mind. At the very beginning of this novel Gene is portrayed as a very competitive and jealous person. You only feel this way because in a sense he feels threatened by Finny, his best friend. Which is one of the “confusing” aspects of this book because you would imagine that if someone is your…show more content…
Once Finny is thoroughly introduced, you begin to gain a better understanding of Gene’s feelings. Finny is perfect on paper he is athletic, naïve, charming, outgoing, the list goes on and on. He is an example of all the things Gene isn’t which makes him “competition”. In chapter 4 Gene says, “We were even after all, even in enmity. The deadly rivalry was on both sides after all” (54). Gene begins to take all of Finny’s actions as deliberate sabotages because his envy was controlling him. Gene seemed like a weak character because of his jealousy. It made him seem like he wasn’t as good as Finny or that he was lacking personality or talent. Once the realization came to Gene that Finny indeed did not feel anything but love for him, everything changed. This is when all of the mixed emotions surfaced. When I first began reading the novel I felt that Gene was very weak. Mostly because of how easily he was influenced by Finny and how he
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