Accidentally on Purpose

Good Essays
William Penn once said, "The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves". At some point in everyone's life, one will experience jealousy. Jealousy effects enemies, families, and even best friends, and it often results in permanent damage to even the strongest relationships. Gene Forrester learns this the hard way. His envy of Phineas causes him to hurt both Finny and himself. Gene's jealousy takes over his life and changes how he acts throughout the novel. The accident transforms the root of Gene’s jealousy from destructive to obsessive because of Finny’s athleticism, his ease at being able to escape blame, and his overall superior personality.
Before the accident, Gene always tries to compete with Finny, and his jealousy for Finny’s athletic ability leads to the destruction of their friendship. Gene resents how Finny is naturally talented. His resentment causes him to be offended by the comments Finny makes questioning how Gene needs to study to do as well as he is able to do in school. Gene says, “It seemed that he had made some kind of a parallel between my studies and his sports. He probably thought anything you were good at came without effort” (58 Knowles). Gene puts a lot of effort in to his academic ability, and in return it far exceeds Finny's. When Finny makes an inquiry to Gene about needing to study, it lessens Gene’s talent and renders it substandard to Finny’s athleticism because his talents requires no effort. Because Gene aims to be greater than Finny, this angers him immensely. These feelings lead him to a path of animosity towards Finny causing Gene to want to hurt him. Before the accident, Gene is resentful of Finny’s ignorance towards the down side of sport – losing: “Finny...

... middle of paper ...

...gry with Finny, but he seems to still be jealous of his legacy. The repetition of Phineas’ name emphasizes how important Finny was to Gene and the impact Finny had on Devon.
Gene takes out his jealousy for Finny's talents and likable personality in a malicious way. His actions cause him to want to change his identity to be like Finny in order to escape what he has done. A friendship with a little competition is normal, but when it causes someone to hurt their friend or try to be their friend, it becomes unhealthy. Many people do not realize the effect that jealousy has on their life. Jealousy causes people to treat others horribly. People with jealous relationships should find a way to get their feelings out in a healthy outlet to avoid making regretful choices in moments of anger. When someone is jealous they end up hurting others, but mostly themselves.
Get Access