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A Separate Peace Essay

By cdossantos Feb 23, 2014 473 Words
Gene, the narrator of A Separate Peace, is full of concerns and insecurities. Gene is trying to define his character. In the beginning, he is very jealous of Finny; he wants to be just like Finny. In chapter 2, on page 25, Gene says, “It was hypnotism. I was beginning to see that Phineas could get away with anything. I couldn’t help envying him that a little, which was perfectly normal. There was no harm in envying even your best friend a little.” This shows that Gene is jealous of Finny and the fact that Finny can get away with anything that he does wrong. Gene is jealous of Finny because he was the best athlete in school. Gene says, “He had unconsciously invented a game which brought his own athletic gifts to their highest pitch” (39). This quote shows that Gene recognizes the athletic power and magnetic personality that makes people drawn to him. He is also jealous of him because Finny had a magnetic personality and so Gene acted like a partner. Later in the book, Gene causes Finny to fall off the tree. When reflecting on the moment leading up to Finny's fall, Gene recalls, “I took a step toward him, and then my knees bent and I jounced the limb.”(60) Gene causes the limb to move, and Finny falls. Gene did this because he thought that he and Finny were rivals, but really this was a sign of dark impulses. After this accident happened, it really affected Gene a lot. Gene forgives himself for what he did and becomes a better person. After Finny’s accident, Gene goes out of his way and does things for Finny. Gene does what Finny wants him to do instead of what he really wants to do. This shows that even though Gene may have been jealous in the beginning, he truly isn’t bad of a friend. Finny’s second accident had another huge effect on Gene. This second accident ended up having Finny die. Gene was very sad and emotional. His emotions recall, “I did not cry then or ever about Finny. I could not escape a feeling that this was my own funeral, and you do not cry in that case.”(194) This shows how emotionally Gene felt. He felt like he lost a part of him; a part of him was gone. Gene is a person who just can’t define himself. He has a lot of worries and insecurities. The relationship between Finny and Gene is almost like a love-hate relationship. The view of their relationship and friendship is like they would stick together, have each other’s backs, and love each other. The lesson of this novel is everyone makes mistakes, forgives themselves, learns from their mistakes, and become a better person. Gene forgave himself and became a better person.

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