A Separate Peace

597 Words3 Pages
Gene + Jealousy = Geronimo Friendship is a word used to describe the warmest of relationships, and to demonstrate one detail: the participants enjoy spending time together. While this definition is almost flawlessly used, there are exceptions to it. In A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, the omission is Gene and Finny’s relationship. Although their companionship does change throughout the novel, Gene’s many flaws in trust, aggression, and keeping Finny alive demonstrate a single fact: Gene and Finny are the worst friends of all time because of Gene’s multitudinous flaws incorporated into the way he views and acts towards Finny. Gene’s inability to trust is a representative of Gene and Finny’s failed relationship. Finny, being the great friend that he is, is always trying to get Gene to enjoy himself. Gene, however, believes Phineas is secretly jealous of him, and is trying to use sabotage as a way to make them equal in the race for valedictorian. Later in the novel, Gene realizes Finny is genuine in his desire to help Gene, not hurt him and guiltily thinks, “And I thought we were competitors! It was so ludicrous I wanted to cry.” (Knowles 66) In addition, after Finny’s fall, Gene tells no one about what he has done. Gene ignores the fact that the guilt is deeply hurting him, and is unable to go to anyone with the truth of what he has done. Although Gene’s inability to trust is a prime factor on their flawed relationship, it is not the only one. Gene’s incapability to control his flashes of aggression is another factor in his and Finny’s broken friendship. When Gene and Finny are up on the big tree, Gene feels a surge of aggression, bends his knees, and knocks Finny off the branch. Also, to show he has no regret of what he has just done, Gene jumps carefree into the deep water. Also, near the end of the novel, Gene’s true aggression comes out. When Leper is
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