A Separate Piece: A Narrative Argument
All grown up, Gene Forrester visits two significant places. One, a tree where he breaks his friends leg and two a marble staircase where he ends that same friends life. In 1942 as World War II was raging in Europe, we find a scene in northeast America where a practical juvenile named Gene, has a major significant self versus self conflict throughout A Separate Peace. He is inconsistent and confused by his feelings toward his best friend, Finny and his actions are always contradicting his words. Ian Kennedy states, “Gene the boy is too close to his experiences to understand them properly.” which is entirely correct and indeed had a colossal effect on the thought-process of Gene. However, Gene as a matured adult can not define the vividity of his childhood experience as expressed in the mood of the beginning and end of the story. Kennedy also states, “Gene the man is too removed to express effectively the vitality that characterizes adolescence, but between them they succeed in dissolving the limitations of conventional first person narration.” There is no example or explanation when and how Gene the man and Gene the boy were dissolved and how it created a “conventional first person narration.” In this novel, John Knowles creates two completely separate narrators (although the same character), one a young inexperienced boy and another a removed, distant, and worn man. Gene was intelligent and understood his goals and morals. Perhaps it was his immaturity or his juvenility that led him to his inappropriate actions. Also it appears that his omniscience played a role to his emotional stability. “He had never been jealous of me for a second. Now I knew that there never was and never could have been any rivalry between us. I was not of the same quality as he. I couldn’t stand this (Knowles 59).” Clearly Gene understood the situation in which Finny was never competing with Gene as he perceived. But instead of Gene forgiving Finny...
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