A Separate Peace: Character Overview: Gene

Topics: High school, Love, Jealousy Pages: 2 (695 words) Published: September 2, 2013
Gene Forrester is the narrator of A Separate Peace, as well as the Protagonist. He tells the story as a flashback, looking back on his student days at the Devon School. Throughout the book, Gene is just like any other high school student who suffers from many typical teenage issues such as self- consciousness, jealousy, self- doubt, and not knowing who he really wants to be in life. When the story first begins, Gene is in his early thirties, visiting the Devon School for the first time in many years. When the flashback begins, he has just started becoming close friends with the athletic, spirited Finny, during the summer session of 1942 (World War II era). But we soon realize that what Gene presents as a perfect friendship is not a perfect friendship what-so-ever. Gene develops a love-hate relationship with Finny, who he alternately worships and envies. Gene seems to want to be more and more like Finny as the novel goes on, suggesting that he is uncomfortable with his own personality. Now we all know that Finny pushes Gene into making a dangerous jump out of a tree into a river, and the two start a secret society based on this ritual. But, what we don’t know is whether or not Gene is responsible for Finny’s accident. All that we know is that Gene was feeling extremely jealous before the accident, felt better immediately after the accident, and felt extremely guilty a bit after that. Gene admits to moving the branch and he even confesses it to Finny, who of course didn’t believe it was Gene who was responsible for his fall. But we have no way of being sure if the so called “crime” was accidental or subconscious. Gene describes Finny as majestic and epic, making it very clear from the start that Gene is very awed by Finny. To put it simply, he is a god in Gene’s eyes. Although Finny is the more academically challenged out of the two, he is also the one to gets everyone’s attention, win people over, and talk anyone, even Gene, into breaking the rules. In...
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