Theme Of Jealousy In A Separate Peace

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The real meaning of A Separate Peace lies in the title, it also goes along with Emerson’s quote “envy is ignorance; imitation is suicide.” A Separate Peace was written by John Knowles in 1960. The novel is about two young boys that were best friends, but their friendship went downhill because of envy and imitation. One of the main characters and narrator of the novel is gene, he’s having a flashback about his days at Devon School and how they led to the present day. Throughout the book Gene is struggling to be find his own identity as he depends on his best friend (Finny) for everything. A Separate Peace demonstrates Gene’s easily detectable envy and imitation of Finny and how it affects their friendship. It also verifies whether or not Gene has found peace by the end of his journey back to Devon.
By reading the book you can that the way Gene feels about Finny affects their friendship,
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One of the two ways he’s found his peace is trying to tell Finny the truth about the accident and then disowning it. “It struck me then that I was injuring him again. It occurred to me that this could be an even deeper injury than what I had done before. I would have to back out of it, I would have to disown it” (Knowles 38). Gene was trying to confess so he could not feel guilty anymore, but Gene still decided to let himself off the hook when Finny couldn’t accept it. Gene felt good knowing that he tried. The second and most important way Gene found his peace was through Finny’s death. When Finny died Gene said, “I did not cry then or ever about Finny …. I could not escape feeling that this was my own funeral, and you do not cry in that case” (Knowles 116). Before Finny died Gene had manifested a strong jealousy of Finny which formed more envy and resentment. Gene struggled to find his own identity and he did everything through Finny, so when Finny died, that part of Gene died also which lead Gene to finding his
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