Jealousy Destroys Friendships
Throughout the novel A Separate Peace by John Knowles, the reader meets the characters Finny and Gene. Finny and Gene become better friends as they room together at Devon, a prep school they go to as World War II affects the world all around them. Although the two of them are complete opposites, they become “best friends” very quickly. As the novel progresses their friendship develops problems, one of which is jealousy. In A Separate Piece Gene and Finny show that jealousy can destroy friendships. The boys are jealous of each other all throughout the story and this jealousy eventually puts one of the characters in an awful situation.
While Gene Forrester is a hardworking scholar who focuses on school and school only, Phineas or Finny is a social and athletic guy who is awful when it comes to school work. The two of them envy each others skills. The two are constantly seen complimenting each other and talking about how they wish they could be the other. As the novel goes on the reader watches as the boys who are complete opposites compliment each other very well. In the beginning of the book Ginny thinks to himself “I was beginning to see that Phineas could get away with anything. I couldn’t help envying him a little.” (Page 18) This quote is important to this idea, because it shows that even from the beginning of the story, Gene was already beginning to build a jealousy of Finny.
As the story goes on, Gene continues to figure Finny out. Gene convinces Finny to attempt to break the school’s swim record, and as he manages to do so Gene gets frustrated when Finny refuses to do this in front of the school and officially set the new record. This is shown on page forty four when Gene says “ Was he trying to impress me or something? Not tell anybody?” Gene becomes frustrated with Finny’s nonsensical behaviors. Finny although not being anywhere close to as obvious as Gene is also...
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