Friendship is an important part in everyone’s lives. This was true for the friendship between Gene and Phineas in the novel A Separate Peace. Gene and Phineas went to a high school called Devon during war times and were getting ready for war. Gene and Phineas were roommates and best friends. Although they had their ups, they also had their downs. So, was their relationship good or bad?
A second way is when he begins to try and somewhat become Phineas. Like shown here, “… a soaring sense of freedom revealed that this must have been my purpose from the first: to become a part of Phineas.” (Knowles 85) from the quote, Gene is stating how by doing sports for Finny gives him a sense of purpose. Also that it may help support his thought of “losing a part of himself”. This only though shows the few of many examples throughout the book of how genes envy or imitation of Finny can affect him in a way.
Phineas was an outgoing and calm boy in the story; he was the perfect example of what peace looks like for boys. Before Gene and Finny jump out of the tree, Finny says to Gene, “
As you can see, Gene had much reason to push Finny out of the tree. It was from jealousy from Finny's athleticism, his popularity, and his ability to talk his way out of almost anything. Only Gene knew that Finny was the only person at the school that could accomplish so many things, and Gene did not want to deal with Phineas
“I don’t give any reason for anyone to hate me. They create their own little drama out of jealousy.”-David James. Gene is jealous of Phineas, because he is better at everything. In the book A Separate Peace there is a lot of evidence proving this quote.
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.
Gene was attempting to be top of his class academically, but he was continuously being distracted by Finny. Oneday Gene decided to ask Finny if he would be upset if Gene was top of their class. Finny responded by saying, “‘I’d kill myself out of jealous envy’” (Knowles 52). Although Phineas said that in a joking manner, it is clearly that he really would be jealous if Gene was top of their class. Finny loved to be first, and he didn’t like when people threatened his position. After pondering on Finny’s comment, Gene realized, that he may have, “deliberately set out to wreck [his] studies” (Knowles 53). Finny clearly had extreme envy of Gene for better academically. It is unhealthy for friends to be jealous of each other, especially when taken to that extreme. Finny was being unsupportive and selfish, just so that he could be better than Gene.
After the realization of the person he truly is Gene confronts with his problems, faces reality, and deals with the future. He learns a lot about life and relationships when he finds about his true self. He learns that he must truly express his feelings and communicate instead of keeping all the feelings inside as he had always done with Phineas. Also he learns to listen to himself not others around him if he wants a true advice. After a while, he faced reality and acknowledged the fact that he was not as great was Phineas but they were two different individuals and they were unique in different ways. Gene accepted the guilt for Phineas’ difficulties after his accident and decided he must he must help him as a punishment and act of repentance for what his deed. He does this by giving part of himself to Phineas as we see with the case of the sports
In the beginning of the novel, Gene, is a clueless individual. He sees the worst in people and lets his evil side take over not only his mind but also his body. During the tree scene, Gene convinces himself that Finny isn’t his friend, tricking himself into thinking that Finny is a conniving foil that wants to sabotage his academic merit. Gene is furthermore deluded that every time Finny invites Gene somewhere it’s to keep him from studying and
Normally when you think of friends, you do not associate them with fear. It seems like Knowles associated fear with Gene's friends. After purposely jostling the tree branch to injure Phineas, Gene did not want to immediately tell Phineas what had actually happened. Gene said that his fear of jumping off the tree branch was forgotten after this event. Phineas did not know if he had fallen on his own or if he had been pushed by Gene. Gene was understandably worried about Finny's reaction to this conversation, so he put the conversation off for as long as he could. He also did not completely trust Phineas. Even though they were supposedly friends, Gene thought that Finny was secretly one of his rivals. Gene said, "The way I believed that you're-my-best-friend blabber" (Knowles 53). Finally, Gene showed that he was fearful of his friends toward the ending of A Separate Peace. When Brinker decided that there must be a trial to determine what had happened to Phineas, Gene fretted about what his fellow students might discover about him. Brinker said, "What I mean is it wouldn't do you any harm, you know, if everything about Finny's accident was cleared up and forgotten" (Knowles 160). He did not want them to find out about his role in Finny's injury. After Phineas injured his leg rushing down the steps of the Assembly Hall, Gene seemed to have a sense of fear until Finny died. Phineas never seemed to fear Gene, even after he had found out about Gene's role in his injury.
At the start, Gene is instantly jealousy of Finny, creating a fake friendship that is fueled by competition. This is shown when he wants to do something so he is good at, so he “was becoming the best student in the school: Phineas was without question the best athlete, so in that way we were even” (Knowles 55). This proves that their friendship is fueled by competition because it shows that Gene always wants to be even. This
“I wanted to see Phineas, and only Phineas. With him there was no conflict except between athletes… This was the only conflict he had ever believed in.” (page 152) When Gene returns from Leper’s house, all he wants to do is see Finny. Gene says that Finny never believed in any conflict, which alludes to when Gene admitted to making him fall out of the tree, and Finny refusing to believe him. Gene wants to forget about what happened, as the event is fresh in his mind after coming back from Leper’s. He still subconsciously trusts Finny to not bring up the subject of what happened at the tree.
First of all, Gene Forrester is the narrator and one of the main characters in the novel. One of Gene’s best friends is Phineas, another main character in the novel, and an important one as well. Gene and Phineas’s relationship has its ups and downs. One of the downs being, Gene's feeling of jealousy towards Phineas. Phineas is an athletic champion and a charmer, someone everyone adores. These same qualities of Phineas make academic and studious Gene envious. The envy drives Gene to try to be a better student than Phineas, thinking that would make them equal. He thought that if he could be the smartest person in the class, then it would be equal to Phineas’s athletic stardom. What he did not know was it would change him as a person and his
With each scenario, it is shown that most of the time Gene’s enemies are only in his head- not many are in a battle to reign supreme as he is. The war put together with these power struggles allows for such a well done piece, for the reader learns that even in times where others are in battle one does not have to be anchored against someone. Phineas and Gene’s relationship is also instrumental in delivering this message because the reader can witness Phineas, with his free and peaceful ways and realize that Gene does not have to be on the defense and seek power all of the time. Phineas is a unique contrast to Gene that helps Knowles prove his point. Just as in the book, life shows us that this urge to beat an “enemy” is unnecessary and can often have consequences like the ones Gene experienced. It is crucial to recognize the reigning powers in life and not let them take over and cause one to find evil in everyone- Knowles displays this perfectly with Gene and his
When Gene is quick to realize that him and Finny will never be of the same power, Knowles shows us that a loss of identity may be present in a relationship if there is an unequal amount of power. Gene realizes that Finny is someone who can do anything and he states that “He had never been jealous of me for a second. Now I knew that there never was and never could be any rivalry between us. I was not the same quality as he” (59). Gene’s low self-esteem starts to build up as he explains that no matter how hard he tries, he will never be as good and powerful as Phineas. Finny has everything in his power and is capable of so many things also remaining his own person. However, Gene feels the complete opposite as he understands that to become someone as mighty as Finny, he has to change who he is to even get Finny to notice him as a threat. As a result of this unequal