17 November 2011
Gene – Savage or Not?
In the novel, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, the two main characters named Finny and Gene, undergo some drastic personality changes – Gene more so than Finny. The changes that Gene goes through cause him to appear different to how he usually acts overall as a person. Gene’s “savage like” personality appears to some people like Leper because of the bad influence being Finny especially with the various activities that occur inside and outside of the school like blitzball, Finny breaking the school swimming record, Finny and Gene going to the beach, and the time during the holidays for Gene without Finny.
Throughout the story, Gene very much progresses as a character not only physically but more so internally like mentally and emotionally but in both good and bad ways. Finny becomes a bad influence for Gene. He is careless, not focused, not concerned, and somewhat immature. Finny focuses more on sports and athletics rather than school work and academics, which is what Gene excels at and is focused on. The bad characteristics rub off onto Gene so he becomes basically well Finny, which Gene actually tries to do because he is unsure of himself as a person. Gene’s savage personality is demonstrated through blitzball when Gene says, “Still mine? Nobody else has had the ball but me, for God’s sakes!” because Gene seems angered which is unusual for him because normally he is extremely calm (Knowles 39). Finny causes some of this pent up anger inside of Gene, mainly because Gene is jealous of Finny and all his popularity mainly because of Finny’s excellence at sports. Therefore, Gene is not entirely to blame for his attitude towards various activities and even towards Finny.
Gene’s negative attitude is not only put towards activities but also to other people like Finny. Gene has many occurrences with Finny but mainly when Finny broke the school swimming record at...