Analysis Of John Knowles's Ode To Jealousy

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Everyone experiences jealousy at some point of their life. As discussed in Parul Sehgal's TED Talk titled, “Ode to Jealousy,” one can become jealous of a material subject such as grades, or clothing. Humans could also become jealous of someone’s relationship or the relationship of their own, such as what Hara Marano talks about in her article “Jealousy: Loves Destroyer.” This so-called “Green-Eyed Monster” seems to come when it pleases, but never seems to leave without a trace. Jealousy makes us do pretty crazy and bizarre things, such as the situation with Gene and Finny, two 16 year-old boys that are the main characters in the book A Separate Peace written by John Knowles. While it may seem that jealousy comes and goes, the Green-Eyed…show more content…
Gene states, “He had never been jealous of me for a second. [...] I was not of the same quality as he,” (Knowles 59). Jealousy takes Gene for a ride and causes many issues between the two boys. This also occurs in Sehgal’s story about her eight year-old self. In her story, she describes her elementary school rival as having, “vast quantities of very shiny hair and a cute little pencil case, super strong on state capitals, just a great speller” (Sehgal). Sehgal also stated that she, “just curdled with jealousy that year.” As an eight year old, she still felt the emotion of jealousy, and quite passionately. These two stories have been told or experienced by people under the age of 25. By that point in time, not many people under the age of 25 have really experienced life the fullest. You’ve only ever been in the safe place of your home of your school. Along with being very young and still experiencing jealousy, both stories consist of people having second thoughts or doubts on their abilities. Gene became jealous of the way Finny was able to easily play any sport he wanted and became exceptionally good at it. Gene undermined his academic strengths just because he was unable to play sports like Finny. Sehgal also seemed to have some insecurities about her academics and started a rivalry with the new girl. She became overly jealous on how perfect the new girl seemed and how she was so academically inclined.

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