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Analysis of Phineas and Gene´s Friendship Essay

Decent Essays
Competition and rivalry have the ability to make people shine and accomplish things they never thought possible, and the ability to bring a person’s dark side and get them to do terrible things. Phineas and Gene’s friendship is viewed very differently by each of them. Where Phineas sees Gene as his best friend Gene sees Phineas as a competitor. Gene sees him as someone trying to keep him from being successful in school. This warped view of their relationship is the cause of many of the eventual problems of the novel and arguably the death of Phineas.
Competition between peers makes people strive to try and be better than their opponents, and can be healthy or unhealthy depending on the competitors and their responses to the competition.
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Sometimes this causes built up resentment and eventually could cause both of the friends to be hurt because of one rash decision like shaking a tree branch. While only Phineas was physically hurt Gene was in an emotional battle with himself about what he has done to Finny and what he thinks of him. Eventually the other boys at Devon find out Gene shook the tree branch, which causes them to lose respect of him. The thought of shaking Phineas out of a tree would have never normally crossed Gene’s mind but him viewing Phineas as a competitor instead of a friend made the idea seem fine for the split second it took for him to shake the branch. The idea hit him just like when he thinks about stealing the doctor’s car. He only even thinks about shaking the limb for an instant, a single life changing moment, and with “some kind of blind impulse”, as Phineas describes it, he shakes the branch. In contrast when he “idly considered stealing” a car even if he thinks about it for a second he can decide not to after the first few steps. Once the tree branch is shaken Phineas’ fate is sealed. Competition and rivalry can cause people to replace trust in each other with protection from each other and cause them to build up walls to separate and protect themselves from their competitors. Not everyone constructs these fortresses of secrets and distrust. Some people are open and trusting of
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