Examples Of Competition In A Separate Peace

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“Above us in Latin flowed the inscription, Here Boys Come to be Made Men” (Knowles, 165). Competition motivates people throughout their lives. It gives them something to work for and something to win for. Olympians compete, politicians compete, and even students compete. Gene and Phineas, as do many others, face the theme of competition throughout their story and years at the Devon School. In A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, competition is portrayed as a theme using symbols, dramatic situations, and foreshadowing. The main symbols that portray competition are the tree and the marble stairs. Everything seemed perfect in Gene and Finny’s relationship with each other; however Gene went above and beyond the limit by idolizing Finny. Competition arose between the two boys. A little competition between friends isn’t bad, but the element of competition was much stronger in Gene’s character. Eventually, this lead to Gene performing an act of jealousy to even out the competition. This is where the symbol of the tree comes into place. Gene’s act of jealousy was jouncing a tree limb causing Finny to…show more content…
‘“There aren’t any teams in blitzball,” he yelled somewhat irritably, “we’re all enemies” (Knowles, 38). Exactly, Finny. This foreshadows the destruction of Finny and Gene’s friendship because eventually they become enemies even though they were best friends. “He hesitated and then added, “which is what you are,” and there was silence on his dune” (Knowles, 60).Right before this quote Finny calls Gene his best friend but Gene makes the mistake of not saying it back. Both boys realize that they aren’t best friends. Gene feels like he doesn’t deserve to be Finny’s best friend because Finny is so much better than him which then caused Gene to become more competitive. The boys’ competitiveness is foreshadowed throughout the book as their friendship begins to
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