Separate Peace

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Jealousy is Murderous Desire
Many times, a friendship between two people contains a large amount of jealousy. Jealousy and envy are the cause to many dead friendships and relationships. It can lead to blindness and can provoke a person to attempt something they would not usually do. Jealousy can evoke enmity and drive people do dangerous things by sudden blind impulse. In A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Gene Forrester is a boy who has always been jealous of his best friend Finny for his athletic prowess and natural leadership abilities. Gene looks at Finny with eyes full of envy while Finny only looks to Gene as a best friend. Gene desires to match up with Finny by using make use of his academic talents and placing first out of his whole class. As they are standing on a tree branch one day ready to take a dive into the water, Gene comes to a sudden realization that Finny is not the least bit bothered by the fact that he might be the top student in their class. A rush of irritation and blind impulse overtakes Gene and he jounces the limb of the tree, causing Finny to fall down, break his leg, and partake in a fall that ultimately leads to his death. Although there are many other factors contributing to Finny’s death, such as Brinker’s stubborn nature, Leper’s ignorance, and Stanpole’s carelessness, the preeminent cause of Finny’s death is Gene’s jealousy and envy. A major contributing factor to Finny’s death is Brinker’s stubbornness and his thirst for the truth. Brinker acts at the persecutor in this situation. He is the one who brings up the idea of questioning Gene about what really happened that day at the tree. He gathers everyone in the Assembly Hall and tells Finny that “tonight we’re investigating you” (159). Brinker is the one who sparks Finny’s suspicion about the whole incident, making Finny question Gene’s honesty. Although Finny may have had his small doubts, he didn’t think twice about his faith in Gene and their friendship....
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