The Relationship Between Gene & Finny Is A Microco

Topics: World War II, Resentment, Remorse Pages: 6 (2176 words) Published: February 1, 2008
Topic: The relationship between Gene and Finny is a microcosm of the outer world.

"Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die. And it is youth who must inherit the tribulation, the sorrow, and the triumphs that are the aftermath of war." (Herbert Clark Hoover). This speech, made by Mr. Hoover illustrates the misconception of war that is passed down by generation, filled by over-glorified lies, which enthrall the youth to join the war effort, where they are merely pawns in a global conflict. The misconception of war that the youths' have parallels their fear of the enemy, caused by the aura of warfare. Although, this enemy often is a figment of their imagination, it makes the youth create boundaries, to such an extent that they start to believe that the boundaries are fortifying themselves, so that no enemy, externally, can harm them, while their internal enemy (themselves), creates internal conflicts, which long-go unresolved. By having these unresolved conflicts, it creates a strain on the relationship with other people (particularly a best friend), making it seem warlike. John Knowles illustrates that the relationship between Gene Forester (hereafter referred to as Gene) and Phineas (no last name given and hereafter as Finny) is a microcosm of the outer world in his novel, A Separate Peace. Gene's resentment of Finny caused their relationship to become a miniature war because their constant battling results in casualties as does war. Gene's resentment for Finny causes him to jounce the limb of the tree; consequently, Finny, a young man with proclivity of athletics, falls from the tree and shattered his leg in many places and hence, Finny is the major casualty of their war. The affection that Gene and Finny have for each other is symbolic to that of a soldier and his wounded Ally during combat. In this case, the soldier is Gene and the wounded ally is Finny. Gene's confusion of life makes him do many things, which alters his seemly utopian relationship with Finny and falls into decadence. This is symbolic of war because at times, soldiers do not know who the enemy is; and if at all, there is an enemy. Gene's confusion, ultimately, leads him to aid in the cumulating events that end in the death of Finny. Consequently, the relationship between Gene and Finny is a microcosm of the outer world because Gene feels resentment for Finny; Gene and Finny had greatly affection for each other and Gene undergoes much confusion in life, all of which has parallels with war. Thus, the inability of people to resolve their conflicts results, not only in their suffering, but of others as well.

First of all, Gene's resentment of Finny caused their relationship to become a miniature war because their battling results in casualties as does war. Gene's resentment for Finny, a young man with a inclination for athletics and with impeccable balance, causes him to jounce the limb of the tree; consequently, Finny fell from the tree and shattered his leg in many places and this was the major casualty. Another, major casualty is Gene because with the death of his best friend, Finny, he felt lost. Their resentment of each is symbolic of war because in war you resent your enemy for being better then you or just different then you. At the Head Master's tea, Finny got in trouble for wearing a bright pink shirt and using the Devon Academy tie as a belt. This action at Devon normally results in severe consequences, but Finny, as usual, with his ability to dissuade people goes without consequence for his action, saying that it was a tribute to the school. Gene was enraged that Finny was able to get away with this act and said, "he [Finny] had gotten away with everything. I [Gene] felt a sudden stab of disappointment." (21). This quotation verifies that Gene resents Finny because Finny possessed the ability to talk his way out of anything. In addition, Gene wanted Finny to be punished for his disobedience; this proves his resentment...


Cited: Knowles, John. A Separate Peace. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1975.
Hoover, Herbert C. "Aftermath." The Encyclopedia of Quotations. Vol.1 Ed. M. Arebelli.
Ohio: Steinway Publishing Company, 1972. 2 vols.
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