A Separate Peace Character Analysis

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Eng 2 CAS October 3, 2013 Character Analysis In John Knowles’ novel, A Separate Peace, there are many different themes. Envy is a major theme in the book. Gene is very envious of Phineas. Since the novel is from Gene’s point of view, his thoughts were clearly displayed and showed his true feelings. Both his actions and thoughts showed how jealous he was of Finny. The traits Phineas possessed were a major cause of the envy. Gene let his jealously overcome him, and ended up seriously injuring his “best friend”. To begin, Gene wanted Finny’s way of smooth-talking. There were many times when Phineas did something wrong and simply talked his way out of it. When the boys skipped dinner, which was not allowed, they were confronted about it. Phineas told a lie about getting ready for the war. These lies came to him naturally, and being outgoing certainly helped being a smooth-talker. On page 18, Gene admitted his envy towards Phineas. He thought, “It was hypnotism. I was beginning to see that Phineas could get away with anything. I couldn’t help envying him…” Gene was an introvert, while Phineas was an extrovert. His jealously of Finny’s trait increased throughout the novel because Finny continued to smooth-talk to get out of trouble. Another thing that Gene was jealous of was Phineas’ tendency to be daring. It was Finny’s idea to jump off the tree. “No one but Phineas could think up such a crazy idea. He of course saw nothing the slightest bit intimidating about it.” These thoughts on page 6 revealed that Phineas was the most daring of their class at Devon. Finny was very outspoken, which showed on the SLOAN test. Gene kept more to himself. Phineas proposed so many crazy ideas to Gene that Gene picked up on a certain tone of voice Phineas used when saying outrageous things. Gene was jealous that Finny was the leader of many things,

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