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. Gene’s relationship with his “best friend” Phineas describes how the relationship resulted in the killing of Gene's enemy, his own youth, and innocence. Gene is plainly described in the novel as envious of Finny, he is also depicted as the position of much hatred and dismay by his peers. Therefore, the fact that Gene kills his own youth is likely considering Finny’s success, Gene’s jealousy towards …show more content…
At this point, Gene still contains his innocence, defined by the fact that he is accustomed to obeying and following regulations/rules. However, as he becomes more accustomed to Finny’s ideology and aspect of life, his innocence begins to struggle. Finny, being the popular person he stands, comes up with, and rules on the game of blitzball. These rules, are clearly made to target Gene. “There aren’t any teams in blitzball,” he yelled somewhat irritably, “we’re all enemies. Knock him down!”. This continuous targeting of Gene, mainly by Finny, makes it sensible that Gene would become reliant/revengeful. Therefore, if Gene were to dangerously act upon his emotions, he would kill his own
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In John Knowles, fictional novel, A Separate Peace, he uses internal conflict to ensure the reader’s understanding of a true friendship. Gene brings Finny’s suitcase to the infirmary, and the boys finally talk about the accident. Finny is an emotional mess and begins to cry. He asks Gene, “It was just some blind impulse you had in the tree there, you didn’t know what you were doing. Was that it” (191)?
“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.
In the beginning of the novel, Gene returns to Devon to understand what happened in 1942. This is important because Gene seeks to console the guilt he has faced. Furthermore, Gene shows his shame after Finny was jounced off the tree. Remorse over Finny's injury ate Gene up, causing Gene to not participate in sports. Gene feels disgrace while in the infirmary thinking, "If Phineas had been sitting here in this pool of guilt...what would he have done?"
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
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).
The author, John Knowles, in the novel, “A Separate Peace”, conveys the lesson of friendship, or rather the lack of, with his use of diction. The strategy in which the author phrased certain sections of dialogue between Finny and Gene is there to show that Finny cares for Gene despite Gene’s obvious discontent. The friendship is a one-way street, and the author uses diction to represent this unbalance in the relationship, leading to friendship being a key theme throughout the book. There exist many examples of this diction throughout the novel, one of these is during their illegal beach trip. “I hope you’re having a pretty good time here.
Adam and Eve had a perfect Garden of Eden, until Eve ate the apple and contaminated the garden. In being tricked by the snake, Eve betrayed God’s word. Mankind has often betrayed others because of the darkness in their heart. In A Separate Peace, John Knowles uses Phineas as a sacrificial lamb to portray Gene’s savage side and demonstrate that peace can never be achieved at a worldwide level until man accepts the darkness in his own heart.
The main purpose Gene had in the novel was to beat his fellow 's students, he went to extreme lengths to become the best. “Holding firmly to the trunk, I took a step toward him, and then my knees bent and I jounced the limb. Finny, his balance was gone, swung his head around to look at me for an instant with extreme interest…” (page 59-60). Gene and his jealousy towards Finny overtook Gene and he jolted Finny off the branch resulting in him breaking his leg and not being able to play sports.
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.
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.
“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide” (Emerson). The character Gene learns of this not until after many trials and a great tragedy. In A Separate Peace by John Knowles, the idea of self-reliance is greatly stressed. The novel A Separate Peace conveys how Gene’s envy and imitation of Finny affect him, how Gene’s envy and imitation affect their relationship with Finny, and Gene’s achievement of peace. The envy towards and imitation of Funny greatly affect Gene.
John Knowles, author of A Separate Peace, uses both character development and setting to support his decision in selecting the title. He uses the main characters of Gene and Phineas (Finny) and their troubled yet deeply bonded friendship as a way to illustrate the separate peace that takes place both within the boys themselves and in the friendship that is built between the two. Knowles also uses the setting of the novel to demonstrate the vast difference between the peaceful Devon School grounds and the war raging outside of the school’s walls. The title, A Separate Peace, as chosen by the author is symbolic of the main characters, Finny and Gene’s, struggle to find peace within themselves and with each other while set in a place that significantly contrasts the events of the real world.
Before the injury, Gene would scream at Finny,but now he feels like he owes Finny his kindness. This passive and emotional Gene is probably the greatest evidence to show that Gene is a dynamic character. Before the injury when Finny would try to explain anything Gene would reply in annoyed tone, “‘Oh, for God sake.’ I slammed close the french book”(57). After the injury however Gene felt like he constantly had a space to fill to make Phineas feel better.
In John Knowles’s novel A Separate Peace Identity is shown as what defines us and makes us be placed in other peoples perspectives. An author can use identity to place characters in the readers mind to portray them a certain way, just as John Knowles did in A Separate peace. An identity can be defined as who a person is inside and out.