Identity Crisis In A Separate Peace

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In A Separate Peace, the main character Gene goes through an identity crisis. An identity crisis is a physical or emotional state, where a person has trouble truly finding themselves, who she or he may be, what their role is in society and what meaning it has in the eyes of society. Also, it may be referred to by psychology as “a period of uncertainty and confusion in which a person's sense of identity becomes insecure, typically due to a change in their expected aims or role in society.” This makes sense because Gene as a new student and even though it seems like he is the smartest student in the whole school, he feels like he is constantly competing with himself and Phineas strives to be the best that he can be. A certain points in time for…show more content…
It is also making it harder to find themselves because of all the pressure, while the school itself seems to care the most as preparing seniors before war. In other words, there is an identity crisis is going through an identity crisis and Gene one of the examples that portrays this.
One way Gene goes through any identity crisis is anytime he tries to be on top of studies, Phineas treats him like it is something natural that doesn’t need much effort, since he has many trophies for sports. According to A Separate Peace, chapter 4, pages 51 and 52, it states, “You work too hard Phineas said. You know all about History and English and French and everything else. What good will Trigonometry do you? I’ll have to pass to graduate, for one thing...Nobody at Devon has ever been surer of graduating than you are...You want to be head of the class, valedictorian, so you can make a speech on Graduation Day...You never waste your time. That’s why I have to do it for you..What if I was. It was a pretty good goal to have, it seemed to me. After all, he should talk. He had won and been proud to win the Galbraith Football Trophy and the Contact Sport
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According to chapter 7, page 100, it states, “To enlist. To slam the door impulsively on the past, to shed everything down to my last bit of clothing, to break the pattern of my life”. Just to rephrase, enlisting was Gene’s way of venturing to ignore/escape his subconscious. A human being’s mind consists three levels. These three levels are the conscious, subconscious and unconscious. These are not stored in the physical brain however, it is in the mind, which is a world on its own. One part of the mind is not more awake than the other . The subconscious takes up 50-60% of the mind, the conscious 10%, and the unconscious 30-40%. The mind is world of thought, belief and feelings. He yearns for a fresh beginning. It is like when someone is stressed out, they try to leave the place they are in and go somewhere else to think about anything else. He lies about what happened to Phineas after Brinker accuses him for “doing away with his roommate” and takes it as a joke in the Butt room, where the high schoolers smoked cigarettes, to not face the bitter truth. He tells a farfetched story, so that no one suspects him. According to chapter 7, page 90, it states, “I stole all his money...found he cheated on his entrance tests to Devon and...blackmailed his parents about that...made love to his sister in Mr. Ludsbury’s study”. While he was
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