Rivalry and Its Positive Impact on Personal Growth Rivalry in all of its forms contributes to personal growth, even in extreme cases where the opposing party is debilitated or annihilated, where the consequences force the remaining party to overcome this loss and continue to adapt to the situation. Using the novel A Separate Peace by John Knowles as the basis for the argument, Gene, the arguable antagonist is molded from an innocent schoolboy to an individual that begins to view the world outside of the confines of his academy of study. Starting from the beginning, Gene had misinterpreted his best friend, Finny’s friendly intentions as attempting to undermine him and begins this one-sided rivalry. Recognizing that he could not beat Finny in the realm of athletics, Gene seeks to improve his school marks, and raise himself up on a pillar of his own
The way he expresses how even though Phineas is gone and he still wants to be like him, shows that Gene was never himself and still has to try to be like Finny in order to be happy. Gene states, “Phineas created an atmosphere in which I continued now to live,” (pg. 202). Phineas had an impact on Gene whether he was alive or dead. What he thought was a normal friendship was actually a very unhealthy relationship between two people that was eventually ended by jealousy. Their friendship proves that in order to have a healthy relationship you must be true to who you are and stick to what you believe in.
In this inconclusive, yet baffled war story, author Tim O'Brien tells us his ambivalent feelings towards the war in order to allow readers to feel what he felt during the war. The author begins the story with a short one sentence paragraph. “How do you generalize?” He uses this rhetorical question to bring a point across about how when telling a war story there is no real place to start and to end. In the second paragraph the author uses abstract words to show just how contradictory the war is, for example he states “War is thrilling; war is drudgery.
Gene comes of age through his understanding of the difficult challenges in his youth. Gene’s jealousy towards Finny’s perfect personality causes him to have childish emotions, such as resentment. Gene Forrester constantly battles within himself clashing emotions, specifically, hate and envy, towards Phineas. Since he strives to be like Finny, Gene does everything in his power to shove down his feelings of hatred and jealousy. After Finny beat the school swimming record, Gene suspiciously asks himself why Finny did not want him to share the news with anyone else.
Guilt can be defined as feeling responsibility or remorse of one's offence or wrong. Gene Forrester is a prime example thaguilt is a theme prevalent in A Separate ace. The novel A Separate Peace, John Knowles is about Gene Forrester, a lonely intellectual, and his struggle against his own guilt of breaking his friens leg and running his future. His t is shown when he feels obligated to become what Phineas could now not be and when he postpones his own desires for the desires of Fin Obviously, Gene’s actions towards Finny as left him with much guilt.
Gene first begins with a simple jealousy for his friend. That jealousy leads him to yearn to become like Finny, which in Gene’s eyes is considered godlike. Later, Gene’s desire becomes so strong that he ruins Finny’s life in order to take his identity, but at the end realizes, that he destroyed Finny’s life for nothing. Therefore, beware of desires, since they could lead to catastrophic events that might change the life of everyone
Finny’s presence satisfies Gene and drives him towards the final steps till Finny’s defeat, his death. At the time of Finny’s demise, Gene “stood watching him being lowered into his family’s strait-laced burial ground” and “could not escape a feeling” that it is his own funeral (Knowles 194). This marks the end of their ongoing battle and proves Finny’s defeat because Gene receives what he desires, becoming Finny now that he is dead. Gene’s action of establishing the conflict without Finny’s presence signifies Gene’s success since he directs the events without Finny’s approval or attentive mind, proving those who construct their own battles are more prone to triumph. On the contrary, Leper a once observant and carefree character, loses his mind and personality in the depths of the war and begins hallucinating, declared mentally insane.
At the end of the novel, Gene has lost his true identity and acts like someone else. (137 words) Finny is the main character's roommate. Finny is very hyper, athletic, and spontaneous. He is well liked at the Devon School by his classmates and teachers. He is the rebel of the story.
In Gene’s case, disloyalty and cowardice appears through his metaphorical bad heart. Gene’s insecurities got in the way of his friendship with Phineas. He was jealous that Finny could never get in trouble, and that he appeared to be perfect in almost every way. When Gene began to believe that Phineas wanted to surpass him academically, he felt threatened. This mixed with his jealousy, and caused him to impulsively shake the tree limb that Phineas was standing on, making him fall and shatter his leg.
He lost all his powers but got them back after realising his flaws, his ego and pride. He showed us that heroism is in stepping forward for someone else and not being selfish. He sacrificed his pathway to reach to his loved one for his kingdom, just like any army man leaves his family for his country, that is heroism. It taught us the value of loyalty and the importance of our responsibilities. Thor also taught us the value of the most important thing which is ‘hope’, we learnt another thing from this movie which is “we never realise our mistakes till we are punished and then when we realise we are able to stand again”.
Finny is a person who you can get along with easily, so if he ever joined the war, he would interact with the opposing team, which he would cause confusion, and eventually become the enemy. Finny doesn’t have natural boundaries and how he seems to be neutral when comes to taking sides. “If he ever attacked at all: if he was indeed the enemy” (Knowles 204). Gene is suggesting that wars start in individuals and then gradually build to larger wars, where innocent people are killed. Mr. Hadley says that the war will leave a person with memories and he wants the boys to make a choice based on memories.
Theme 1.1: Envy. In Knowles’s coming of age book, “A Separate Peace”, there are lots of mishaps that happen and the beginning of these mishaps is when one of his main characters, Gene, starts thinking malicious things about Phineas, his friend. It started out as a small inkling of envy, suddenly later on in the book, it turned into something that resembled a fractious disaster. As the chapters progress, Gene shows the readers his way of thinking towards Phineas, by describing his “unexpected excitement” (27) when Phineas was about to receive a scolding from Mr. Patch-Wither, the substitute headmaster of Devon during the summer session. Surprisingly, when Phineas (aka Finny) further explained why he wore the school tie as a belt,
Although he lives, Gene is ultimately the one truly destroyed by his envy. Gene has many theories that Finny is trying to trick or misguide him, sending him into a jealous rage. Thinking Finny was against him, Gene started to uncover Finny’s real intentions. ”That way he, the great athlete, would be ahead of me. It
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.
When most people think of envy, they think of a competition that pushes someone to improve themselves to be like another person. While it is true that envy can definitely have a positive impact, in A Separate Peace by John Knowles, the reality of envy is displayed when Gene hurts his best friend Finny. The overpowering feeling can take over a person and bring them suspicion that can cause them to commit poor actions leaving them damaged and changed forever. The first place we see this in the book is when Gene starts suspecting Finny of planning a master scheme to wreck his academic success.