Becoming A Man A Separate Peace And The Jumping Tree

Becoming A Man A Separate Peace And The Jumping Tree

Length: 1857 words (5.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Sometimes I think that the trouble with men is that we aren't women. One almost never sees women fight. No, that's a guy thing, a manly thing that also raises disturbing questions about what it means to be a man these days. Becoming a man comes with realizing your responsibilities in life. Becoming a man comes when you take control of your responsibilities in life for yourself and for others. If you live at home, and accept money, food, or anything else from your parents - you have no earthly idea what it takes or means to become a man. On the day that you catch the clue that electricity costs a great deal of money, and that leaving the lights on when you leave the home becomes very expensive, then one may slightly show the slow turning into the corner to manhood. On the day that you can solve tour own problems without having to call someone for help or whining to your parents, you have become a man
In "A Separate Peace" many characteristics of becoming a man can be seen. For example, as the novel progresses, so does Gene's maturity. Gene's first seen in the novel as a boy, not yet brought on by nature, but as one gets deeper into the novel, one sees change; Gene embarks on life change that all men journey through once in their life. Gene begins to see his life and others from a totally new standpoint, as though even from a newer perspective. In Chapter two and chapter three, Gene, develops a sheer envy for Finny, and acknowledges it as the truth. He is extremely envious of the methods in which Finny uses to escape his unusual actions and his popularity. He embeds himself in a pool of self-assurance, by repeatedly telling himself over and over again that having
a best friend like Finny is an accolade and he should see it as an achievement. However, this transparent excuse of Gene's maturity at this point, portrays a very young, foolish, and selfish young man. "It was hypnotism. I was beginning to see that Phineas could get away with anything. I couldn't help envying that a little, which was perfectly normal."(Knowles p. 25) Here we see Gene as a simply confused young man who doesn't know the real value of friendship, and can't refuse a feeling of envy towards his so called "best friend.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Becoming A Man A Separate Peace And The Jumping Tree." 26 Feb 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

A Separate Piece, By John Knowles Essay

- In John Knowles’ novel, A Separate Piece, the main Character, Gene Forrester, has to learn to become friends with his hazardous roommate, Phineas, at his school, Devon, in New Hampshire. The novel is affected by a number of changes, however the largest and most significant change is the change in seasons. In Thomas C. Foster’s novel, How to read literature like a Professor, chapter twenty explains the significance of the seasons. Foster states that, “Summer [symbolizes] adulthood and romance and fulfillment and passion,” while, “ winter [symbolizes] old age and resentment and death.” John Knowles’ book A Separate Peace, all aspects of Summer, Fall, and Winter are excellently represented as...   [tags: Season, Autumn, A Separate Peace, Winter]

Research Papers
910 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Changing Perspectives in A Separate Peace

- A Separate Peace Essay Although we have our own point of view on everything, they sometimes can change. This was no different to Gene and Finny, the main characters in 'A Separate Peace'. Their view on the war changed as time progressed. They went from playful to oblivious, then finally to acknowledgment. In the beginning of the novel, Gene and Finny jump from the tree into the river. Before Finny jumps he shouts, “Here’s my contribution to the war effort.” By this statement he means that by jumping out of the tree, they are training for the war....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
429 words (1.2 pages)

John Knowles' A Separate Peace Essay

- Death of Obligation In the story of A Separate Peace, the struggle and problems of a character are represented through the lives of two students at Devon School. Gene who is the dynamic character in the story is held back from achieving his goals and living the life he wants to live by Finny. Gene in a sense, devoted to Finny and can easily be convinced to do anything Finny presents to him. Gene’s thoughts become blurred and he begins to believe anything that Finny says no matter how ridiculous it might seem....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
664 words (1.9 pages)

Essay about Friendship And Rivalries In A Separate Peace

- Separate Peace Essay In the book, ‘A Separate Peace’, there are many friendship and rivalries. During the school year at Devon, there is a war going on. So everyone's on edge. Going to a prep school you can expect that kids will be jealous of each other, and that’s what happened. In the book there were multiple rivalries and a lot of envy between Gene, Finny, and Brinker. In the book,‘A Separate Peace’, Gene is very envious of Finny. At the beginning of the story, Finny called gene his best friend and Gene said nothing....   [tags: Envy, Jealousy, Friendship, A Separate Peace]

Research Papers
728 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about One Thing Leads to Another in "A Separate Peace"

- In A Separate Peace, many events impacted Gene’s and Finny’s lives. There were three events that I feel were the most influential. Those are Finny taking Gene to the beach, Gene causing Finny to fall from the tree, and Finny’s second fall. These occurrences change the boys in various ways. The first life-changing event was Finny taking Gene to the beach. This might seem a trivial part of the story, but it is, subtly, the pivotal point in his feelings towards Finny. “I hope you’re having a pretty good time here,” says Finny....   [tags: Separate Peace, ]

Research Papers
595 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on A Separate Peace

- A Separate Peace A Separate Peace is a novel by John Knowles that is about prep school experiences during World War II. This book was a good story about an adolescents attempt to understand the world and himself. I enjoyed reading about Gene's journey towards maturity and the adult world. This book takes place in Devon School, New Hampshire during a summer session when Gene Forrester was sixteen years old. One day Gene and Finny, his friend and roommate, went to a large tree by the river. Finny suggested that they try and jump from the tree into the river below them....   [tags: Separate Peace Essays]

Research Papers
2608 words (7.5 pages)

Friendship in Knowles' A Separate Peace Essay

- A Separate Peace - Friendship   We have all experienced friendship in our lives; some of these bonds were lasting and others were not.  A Separate Peace is a book that deals with the friendship of high school boys. These boys attend an all-boy’s school called Devon School.  It is said that: "Devon is sometimes considered the most beautiful school in New England."  "Devon was both scholarly and very athletic."  Devon is where Gene Forrester, Phineas (Finny) and Elwin (Leper) Lepellier attend school.  Author John Knowles sets the story during World War II.  This time period makes the boys have to think about which branch of the military they want to enlist in....   [tags: A Separate Peace Essays]

Free Essays
1006 words (2.9 pages)

Friendship and Hatred in A Separate Peace Essay

- Friendship and Hatred in A Seperate Peace The line between friendship and hatred can sometimes be very unclear. Where exactly does one cross over this line. Could it possibly be when one discovers envy within himself for his friend, or is it when he begins to wish he is somewhere other then where he is. In the novel A Separate Peace by John Knowles, the friendship line between Finny and Gene is extremely unclear. What would cause ones best friend to jounce a tree limb in hopes the other would be harmed....   [tags: Separate Peace Essays]

Free Essays
661 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on John Knowles' A Separate Peace

- John Knowles' "A Separate Peace"       Gene, returns to the Devon School in New Hampshire, where he was a student with his friend Phineas 15 years ago, just as World War II began. The book goes back 15 years, to Gene's days with Phineas. On their first chance to jump off a huge tree into the river, Phineas, being the daredevil, goes first and Gene is the only one who follows. Gene is normally a conservative, conformist type person, but around Phineas, he consents to break the rules more often. Finny is an irregularity at Devon....   [tags: John Knowles Separate Peace Essays]

Research Papers
1417 words (4 pages)

Analysis of A Separate Peace by John Knowles Essay

- Analysis of A Separate Peace by John Knowles Telgen states John Knowles was born on 16 September 1926, in Fairmont, West Virginia. At the age of fifteen, Knowles attended New Hampshire's prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy. The Devon school, where most of the actions of A Separate Peace take place, is based on Phillips Exeter. After graduating from Exeter, Knowles entered Yale University for the 1944 fall term before going into the U.S. Army Air Force. After being discharged from service, he returned to Yale and continued his studies....   [tags: Knowles Separate Peace Analysis]

Free Essays
1499 words (4.3 pages)

Related Searches

" Jealousy takes over Gene. In chapter five, Gene bounces the limb of the tree Finny leaps out of. Finny then falls, and shatters his leg. Gene, in this chapter, grows a few inches taller in his climb towards maturity. Gene's conscious takes a mental beating after he commits his awful deed. Perhaps his mind beats him up so much, he's forced to grow up. One can sense vibes in Gene that he's sincerely
sorry for his action showing his respect in Finny grow even stronger, by
training in place of Finny for the 1944 Olympics. A possible reason for
Gene's sudden spurt of maturity is the tremendous guilt that brought
forth when Finny rejects the idea that his best friend shook the limb of the
tree that Finny fell off of. "If Phineas had been sitting here in this pool of guilt, how would he have felt, what would he have done? He would have told me the truth."(Knowles p. 66) It took Gene's newly acclaimed maturity for Gene to put himself in Finny's place and realize this. Towards the end we see that Gene's
maturity has come to its peak, after feeling the pressure of his friends,
who try to target him for Finny's crippling injury. He also faces the truth
behind Finny's injury, and confesses to Finny the true reason behind his
action. This makes it clear that Gene's mind has forced him to grow
up; it has forced him to realize his boyish selfishness and stupidity behind
some of his actions. The greatest hurdle overcame by Gene, learning to live with what he's done, finalized his maturity. This painful step allows him to completely mature. Gene's self-acceptance and self-forgiveness conclude his maturation. He has to accept that he may not live a perfect life and that he, like any other normal being (even Finny), has faults. Accepting that his innocence has been lost helps Gene move on into another part of his life and realize that he can never return to the days of his innocent youth again. He can now become a man, enter the war and adult world and leave his youth behind. Forgiving himself finishes his last step of maturity which allows Gene to lead a normal life and enter society. He must finally forgive himself completely for his blind act and allow himself to "come in out of the rain". "I never killed anybody and I never developed an intense level hatred for the enemy. Because my war ended before I ever put on a uniform; I was on active duty all my time at school; I killed my enemy there."(Knowles p. 204) Gene finally accepted his ill-minded act of envy toward his rival/ best friend /enemy.
Throughout the novel, we see Rey's confusion as he tries to determine what kind of a man he wants to become. He observes the differences, and the tensions, between the machismo of his uncles and his father, who has made a conscious decision to be a different kind of man. Rey desperately seeks to define a manhood style that can make him feel emotionally strong, intelligent, noble, but yet stand up for what he believes in. "Outside my door, I could hear him pacing. Apa, the man, was there pacing back and forth like a lion might do to keep his cub safe from all danger. I so wanted to be like him." (Saldana p. 181) Rey wanted to be like his dad or which informally he wanted to become a man, and not just a man, the right kind of man. In chapter two Rey observes the food table, how it has been divided into two sections. On one side of the table there are the soft drinks and food, while on the other side there are alcoholic beverages and that's where the men of the family are standing and drinking. "Rey, come and sit over here with the men."(Saldana p. 14) One can sense that Tio Santos' manhood has to deal with drinking liquor that's strong and only a strong man has the capability of handling. Tio Santos also starts to question Apa's manhood since Apa refused to take a drink of Vodka. The emotional atmosphere starts to build up when Tio Santos insults Apa and Apa just shakes his head and does not respond. Rey stares at his father and for a second and knows that his man enough father can stand up to his brother. We can clearly sense it when Rey refers to Tio Santos taking a step too far and if he was questioning Apa's manhood there would be trouble. Rey remembers of the many times Apa has talked about standing up, defending yourself. Rey becomes aware of the different manhood styles and starts to wonder what a real man should be. "Let's just do this, Rey," Lety said. "I know you're the big eleven-year-old man and think you're just too cool for this, but let's dance this one song, and then you can go back to acting tough with you hands in your pockets and trying to look a cool-like" (Saldana p. 33) Once again the idea of being a man comes up and Rey's attitude seems to affect the atmosphere of the story because there's no way he can think of that dancing and manhood go together. Lety senses it too, so she pinches his muscle and comments that lifting weights has helped build Rey's muscles pretty stiff trying to reinforce his sense of manhood. We notice Rey's attitude changes for a second once he starts to dance. He observes Lety and notices different facial features he was not aware of before and he notices that Lety makes for a pretty girl, even though there will not be any way he will tell her because he thinks that comment would be to childish. Rey observes Apa and Tio Angel arm wrestling and he notices how his Tio Angel gives in and loses the match and how he laughs, once again noticing the style of manhood his Tio Angel and Apa portray. Apa and Tio Angel's manhood can be described as noble, sincere, loving and taking situations like losing with humor and as opposed their manhood being questioned. Tio Angel transmits to Rey that he looked real sharp in his tuxedo "Como un hombrecito". Rey becomes aware that a person does not have to dress in any certain way to be considered macho. We can easily become see, along with Rey, that there are different ways of becoming a real man and Rey starts to sense that manhood is not just about drinking alcoholic beverages and being arrogant like his Tio Santos or doing something that goes against what a person considers right. When Rey find outs that Tio Angel has been shot dead and the family starts to mourn, especially Apa, Rey becomes the comforting shoulder. Rey had never seen his dad cry so Rey feels this responsibility to help his dad overcome this painful moment. We experience this feeling when Rey states, "He must have had a hard time not being able to show his true emotions. And this morning, I was able to offer my shoulder to Apa and more importantly he accepted it" (Saldana p. 175) You can sense that Apa was right, Rey did get stronger, not physically but rather emotionally.
To some, becoming a man may become attainable by going through puberty, performing some kind of manly act, like sex or something relevant to that or maybe even like in some cultures where performing some kind of ritual initiates them into manhood. To some people manhood comes through what their religion says; Christianity says that just by going through puberty you have achieved manhood; Jewish people have a Bar Mitzvah ceremony when the boy is 13 years old which symbolizes his transformation from boy to man. But a real man will always truly characterize a boy who has become aware of his environment and surroundings, who has accepted the responsibilities of himself and those placed upon him by others, who can accept that he can't be perfect and can accept his misdoings in life, who has attained the traits of a leader; courage and fearlessness; and finally a person who wants something better out of everything he does in life, and then after he has realized and accepted all of this, he may then call himself a man.
Return to