From a young age, we are taught that strength of character leads to success. In schools and in homes across the world, young people are taught basic things like: kindness, sharing politeness and good humor. In A Separate Peace, author John Knowles shows us how strength of character impacts Phineas's and Gene's relationship and the course their lives take. Lance Armstrong's recent fall from grace as reported in (site 3 sources) also suggests how strength of character impacts his downfall. Arguably, people must develop strong character traits in order to succeed and get along with each other. But sometimes life is not that neat and easy. Character strengths are challenged in a world filled with pressures resulting from unexpected surprises and unbearable expectations. These challenges result in inner struggles that Phineas and Lance Armstrong cannot overcome with their strength of character. Having a strong character does not always lead to good outcomes.
The character strengths of Phineas and Lance Armstrong make them both successful and loved. Firstly, Phineas is loved because he creates harmony while Armstrong is loved because of his charitable personality. After Phineas dies, his best friend, Gene, praises him: "He possessed an extra vigor, a heightened confidence in himself, a serene capacity for affection which saved him. Nothing, as he was growing up at home, nothing at Devon, nothing about the war had broken his harmonious and natural unity" (Knowles 202-203). It is evident throughout the novel that Phineas’ harmonious qualities set him apart from his peers and made others love him. Despite Gene’s hard feelings for Phineas, he compliments his dead friend for having qualities that made peace and not war. It can be inferred that others, without hard feelings against Phineas, have only kind feelings for him. Phineas loves nothing more than to bring friends together for a games and fun. At the carnival he organizes, but cannot participate in due to his leg...
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