A Separate Peace Essay

961 WordsJan 1, 20134 Pages
In the fictional novel A Separate Peace by John Knowels, protagonist Gene Forrester comes of age. The novel takes place during World War II and describes Gene and Finny’s last year at Devon School before they’ll most likely be drafted for war. Finny represents the innocence in the story and he’s very immature and fun, whereas Gene follows Finny’s lead, doing whatever he does. Finny has an immense impact on Gene, and when Finny gets hurt, and especially when he dies, it’s almost as if Gene dies too. Gene’s fall of innocence began when he lost Finny, he finally realized he could be his own person, admit that what has happened was in the past, and also become more of a realist and more mature. Everyone goes through a phase in life when they’re in disillusionment, and doesn’t know whom they want to be when they’re older, and this is exactly what happens to Gene. Gene goes along with whatever Finny says and never makes his own decisions. This is expressed when Finny and Gene were going to jump off the tree for the first time, Gene’s thoughts being, “What was I doing up here anyways? Why did I let Finny talk me into stupid things like this?” (17). This represents Gene’s vulnerability, and how he naturally goes along with what Finny tells him to do. This is a prime example of Gene’s lack of independence, and he disability to make his own decisions. Gene begins to realize that he can stand up for himself and say when he doesn’t want to do something. This first occurs when Finny tells Gene to come watch Leper jump off the tree while Gene’s trying to study. Gene’s reaction was, “‘Okay, we go. We watch little lily-liver Lepellier not jump from the tree, and I ruin my grade” (57). Gene begins to realize he doesn’t always have to do whatever Gene wants. If he wants to stay in and study, he can, he just needs to say it. (Add third example) It takes a lot to be independent, and

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