Character Analysis: A Separate Peace By John Knowles

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The Green Eyed Monster Often times individuals choose their friends based on the commonalities they share and the experiences that bring them together. However, like any relationship, lacking genuine intentions can cause a friendship to fail. A Separate Peace by John Knowles characterizes two main characters, Phineas (Finny) and Gene, as they attend a New England boarding school in the midst of World War II. Certain behavior indicates that Gene is jealous of his close friend Finny, therefore Gene and Finny cannot be best friends. Gene’s initial resentment grows causing to him to seek Finny’s failure, mentally disband their friendship, and inflict physical pain upon him. Phineas has an array of qualities that make him desirable to all, he is effortlessly charismatic, athletic, and intelligent. Gene cannot help but envy the qualities that make Finny an exceptional friend. Finny decides to wear a pink shirt as an emblem to an afternoon tea at the Headmaster’s house. Gene is eager to find out the repercussions of Finny’s actions, “This time he wasn’t going to get away with it. I could feel myself becoming…show more content…
The two manage to venture toward the beach, in the core of this moment Phineas sincerely expresses how fond of Gene he is and even goes to the extent of calling him his “best pal”. Gene finds himself in a predicament when he fails to find the courage to respond, “ I should have told him then that he was my best friend also and rounded off what he had said. I started to; I nearly did. But something held me back. Perhaps I was stopped by that level of feeling, deeper than thought which contains the truth” (Knowles 48). Gene is so overcome with jealousy that he evades to return the gesture of calling Finny his best friend. This is not something that is simply occurring to him but is true due to the fact that his resentment has grown, making it insurmountable for them to be best
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