A Separate Peace

643 Words3 Pages
Phineas, a main character in “A Separate Peace”, was a very athletic, cheerful young man. He was a friend through and through, and he was a buddy to everyone around him. That isn’t the only thing Phineas was. Phineas represented an innocence beyond this world that no normal human can find. He had a sincerity that was infused with all his words and a joyfulness that could not be dampened. Finny’s innocence is personified multitudes of times throughout the book. He shows great sincerity towards Gene when he tells Gene that Gene is his best friend on their day trip to the beach. (23) Finny’s unhindered joy finds ways to manifest itself in obscure ways, such as when he wore the pink shirt and the tie belt. “Well, we’ve got to do something to celebrate.” (25) What most people find fright in, Finny finds excitement, such as when he jumps from the tree and founds the Summer Suicide Society. “This is the most fun I’ve had in weeks. Who’s next?” (16) An example of Finny’s innocence is showed through blitzball, the game he created with no teams, therefore without any losers of winners, but it was loads of fun. (37-40) Though, with an innocence this perfect, there is bound to be corruption. Finny’s innocence was corroded by the jealousy and malice of his supposed best friend, Gene. Gene at first saw Finny as a good, but very influential friend. Although, partway through the book, Gene began to despise Finny, thinking that Finny was only trying to be better than him. “That way he, the great athlete, would be way ahead of me. It was all cold trickery, it was all calculated, it was all enmity.” (53) In all actuality Finny was a great person as shown by the above paragraph. “Now I knew that there never was and never could have been any rivalry between us. I was not of the same quality as he.” (59) Eventually this jealousy from Gene towards Finny’s perfection tried to wear away the wholeness Finny had found. This shown when Gene shook the limb of the tree. (59-60) This breaks Finny’s leg which ends, essentially, where his perfection originates from, his athletics. “Sports are finished for him, after an accident like that. Of course.” (63) Finny still retained his innocence but, it was not the same as before.

More about A Separate Peace

Open Document