A Separate Peace: Contrasting Gene and Phineas and the Struggle for Po

818 WordsOct 8, 19994 Pages
A Separate Peace: Contrasting Gene and Phineas and the Struggle for Power Julie Gibson John Knowles' A Separate Peace depicts many examples of how power is used. In A Separate Peace, two opposing characters struggle for their own separate might. Gene Forrester, the reserved narrator, is weakened by his struggle for power. While, Phineas was inspired by his own power within. The novel conveys how peace can weaken or inspire during a mental war. Phineas, a natural rebel, is known as the best athlete in school. For example, he and three others come to look at a tree, which is considered among the Upper Middler students at Devon an impossibility. Phineas demonstrates his supreme power by stating that the tree is, indeed, a "cinch"…show more content…
Gene concludes that he "killed [his] enemy there," meaning that he killed both Finny and also what was, at the same time, foreign and inadmissable to his way of life (p.196). Gene believes that he is weak. Subconsciencely, he is powerful. If he is not, he could never had the mental strength of pushing Phineas out of the tree. This helpless nudge soon became a random act of violence that ended in death. Did Phineas purposelessly tried to take over Gene's life to weaken him and make himself more powerful? Most likely, not. Phineas is the perfectly natural and spontaneous person who is not capable of doing something mean or ugly. He responds to life with natural emotions and all things, except studying, come easily to him. He is not capable of such emotions as jealousy or envy. He lives in a world of happiness and joy and he communicates these qualities to the people whom he meets. Phineas was powerful in many ways: his strength, his spontaneity, and, most of all, his

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