Gene Forrester In 'A Separate Peace'

Topics: Family, Friendship, Novel Pages: 4 (857 words) Published: September 5, 2016


Every teenager struggles with figuring out who they are. Sometimes, it takes someone else to help them fully understand themselves. In the story A Separate Peace, Gene Forrester is a senior at a boarding school called Devon. Just like most other teens, Gene doesn’t know himself completely and has yet to discover who he really is. But Gene forms an incredibly close relationship with his best friend Phineas, and together they make new discoveries about themselves. Their close, sometimes complicated relationship teaches Gene a lot about himself. He also learns from Phineas; basing a bit of his personality off of him. Gene grows as a person during this time, and finds Phineas is still a part of him long after high school. Phineas’s way of living teaches Gene about himself and helps him discover who he truly is.
Gene Forrester starts off as someone who’s completely unsure of who he was as a person....

For example, while Finny was in the hospital Gene decided to put on Finny’s clothes (36). He says “I was Phineas, Phineas to the life. I even had his humorous expression in my face” (37). Gene felt a desire to be someone who was as special as Phineas was. He thought poorly of himself, because of what he had done to Finny, and because he was unable to admit it. This idea that he wasn’t Gene the coward, and was instead Finny the amazing student helped him feel better about himself. When he acted like Phineas he felt confident and that he “would never stumble through the confusions of [his] own character again” (37). At times Gene felt what Finny felt or compared Finny’s situation to his own. Finny tells Gene that “You look like it happened to you or something” when he sees Finny after the accident for the first time (39). Even at Phineas’s funeral towards the end of the story, Gene says “I could not escape a feeling that this was my own funeral”...
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