Throughout the novel, Gene is constantly envying Finny because he describes him with many god-like traits that he himself does not possess. Gene sees that “Phineas could get away with anything” even when he gets into trouble, and starts to admit he “couldn 't help envying [Finny] [...] which was perfectly normal. There was no harm in envying even your best friend a little” (Knowles 25 ). However, when Gene becomes paranoid that Finny is also envious of his academic success but then realizes that this is not true, his jealousy develops into enmity as he sees that Finny is naturally pure and good willed at heart- something he is not. Because he “was not of the same quality as [Finny]” (59), Gene unleashes his anger by physically harming Finny.
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.
Brother sees himself as superior to Doodle, a common feeling for an older sibling of his age. Doodle’s condition coupled with Brother’s arrogance and pride turned legitimate feelings between siblings into a sequence of deadly circumstances. Brother recognized his pride, but was unable to break free from its grasp. Although desirable, the ability to control human emotion is difficult to obtain.
Another principal factor that dissolves the bond between them is Gene’s jealousy. Gene is envious of Finny’s athletic and social power. Finny has the ability to talk his way out of any tough situation; if he attempts to manipulate someone, that person might show “a flow of simple unregulated friendliness.” Gene sees how everyone loves Phineas, and that makes him feel unworthy. As Gene’s envy and paranoia take over him, he is drawn farther from the truth that lies within his brotherhood with Phineas. When Gene realizes that his only advantage over Finny is his mind, he begins competing with Finny.
Although the power and passion of love as a potent force cannot be overlooked, it can have a destructive effect when pursued with self -centered motives. James Hurst illustrates the theme of unrequited love in, "The Scarlet Ibis," a short story in which the protagonist and his handicapped brother, Doodle, develop a fulfilling relationship that grows gradually more manipulative. Doodle's brother trains him to walk and play out of the selfish need to restore his cracked pride broken by the embarrassment of having a crippled brother. Doodle does not comprehend the extent of his brother’s corrupt motives and unconsciously works to fulfill his brother’s ambitions by meeting his nearly impossible expectations and surpassing his goals. However, despite
However, Gene has no proof that Finny returns the feelings of hatred. Gene feels he must exceed Finny, so he wobbles the limb. The animosity within Gene takes over, only now he becomes aware that the hatred does not return. Finny is flawless. He loves Gene like he loves everybody else.
Gene hated watching finny always coming out on top out therefore out of jealousy and resentment Gene decided to push Finny out of the tree and alter their friendship. Generally the two boys relationship was stable and created from both boys admiration for each other, “it’s you, pal. Finny said to me at last, “just you and me”… we were best of friends at that moment” (17-18). During the course of the book Genes unspoken rivalry with Finny becomes unbearable and he continuously has moments where he questions their friendship, “...
The absence or presence of invidiousness has the potency to strengthen or dismember friendships. In John Knowles’ A Separate Peace, Gene Forrester and his daring roommate, Finny, discover the dangerous impact of enviousness on their friendship. Gene’s jealousy of Finny’s athletic capabilities, Finny’s unenviable thoughts and actions, and Brinker’s suspicions that Gene’s envy catalyzed Finny’s accident were all contributing factors to the ups and downs in Gene’s and Finny’s relationship. Detesting a friend for his/her successes can rupture even the strongest relationships. Gene’s invidiousness of Finny’s numerous sports achievements transforms into a resentful hatred.
When Gene jumps, in a way he is throwing his life away to Finny, because from that point forward, Finny will be the overwhelming influence of his life. At the early stage of their friendship, Gene always feels that Finny is such a great person: "He got away with everything because of the extraordinary person he was. It was quite a compliment to me, in fact, to have such a person choose me for his best friend" (29). But somehow, Gene doubts Finny’s loyalty. As an adolescent, Gene’s in... ... middle of paper ... ...ith his leg bound and hindering, he snaps fiercely at Gene, "You want to break something else in me!
This concept of man's inhumanity to man is developed in A Separate Peace as the primary conflict in the novel centres on the main character, Gene, and his inner-battles with feelings of jealousy, paranoia, and inability to understand his relationship with his best friend Phineas. Competition is further demonstrated by the occurrence of World War II. It is shown that, "There were few relationships among us (the students) at Devon not based on rivalry." (p. 37) It is this rivalry and competition between the boys at Devon that ripped their friendships apart. In the early pages of the novel, Finny confesses that Gene is his best friend.