A Separate Peace by John Knowles In John Knowles novel, A Separate Peace, Gene is plagued by jealousy for his best friend, Finny. As this novel continues, Gene ends up hurting his friend because of his jealousy. After Gene blindly intentionally hurts his only friend, he has a guilty conscience and has to overcome it by being good friends with Finny. However, Gene still feels guilty for Finny, has lost his best friend, and he knows his life will never be the same. Gene still feels guilty for Finny.
Huck also second-guesses these choices since he knows they will be looked down upon. Huck’s conflicts involve helping Jim run away, and resisting society’s attempt to “sivilize” Huck (Twain 106). Throughout the story, Huck faces a few difficult choices and has strenuous moral debates
Every person feels rivalry or competition towards others at some point in their lives. This rivalry greatly affects our ability to understand others, and this eventually results in paranoia and hostility. It is a part of human nature, that people coldly drive ahead for their gain alone. Man's inhumanity towards man is a way for people to protect themselves from having pain inflicted on them by others, and achieving their goals and desires without the interference of others. 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.
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.
However, when his pride becomes blinding, Brother forces Doodle beyond his limits and is forced to accept the consequences. Though loved by his brother, Doodle becomes an innocent victim of selfishness and pride. The bitter seed of shame that blossoms into the flower of pride strangles discernment and results in absolute inability to accept defeat. Brother was ashamed of Doodle immediately following his birth. “It was bad enough having an invalid brother, but having one who possibly was not all there was unbearable, so I began to make plans to kill him by smothering him with a pillow.” (345).
The Hostility Between Gene and Finny in A Separate Peace by John Knowles Gene feels increasing hostility toward Finny before his fall from the tree. In the novel A SEPARATE PEACE by John Knowles, the hostility between Gene and Finny increase because of the competition inside of them both to be better then one another. It is about the increasing competition between Gene and Finny and the hostility it brings. The hostility finally burst inside Gene and for one instant it takes over. It makes him do something he will always regret.
After Gene’s confession, the boy’s friendship was nearly broken because of the presence of envy ... ... middle of paper ... ...couldn’t handle the pressure of “courtroom”. The author conveys that Finny is extremely saddened that Gene let invidiousness get the best of him, and control him in dangerous ways. Like previously proven events, Gene’s envy was the ultimate force that slowly deteriorated the boy’s friendship. Friendships can be hurt or toughened by the lack or presence of jealousy. The significant influence of envy on friendships is discovered by Gene and Finny through Gene’s jealous nature, Finny’s unenviable nature, and Brinker’s suspicions on the impact of Gene’s envy on Finn.
Lastly, Gene pushes Leper out of his chair while visiting him after he is accused of causing Phineas’ injury. All of these occurrences contribute to the overall meaning of the work. One of the climaxes of A Separate Peace happens at the first scene of violence. Until this scene, the reader is unaware of Gene’s “evil side”. He is so overtaken by his jealousy and rage toward Phineas that he succumbs to his emotions and causes Finny to fall off of the tree branch.
Competition and rivalry have the ability to make people shine and accomplish things they never thought possible, and the ability to bring a person’s dark side and get them to do terrible things. Phineas and Gene’s friendship is viewed very differently by each of them. Where Phineas sees Gene as his best friend Gene sees Phineas as a competitor. Gene sees him as someone trying to keep him from being successful in school. This warped view of their relationship is the cause of many of the eventual problems of the novel and arguably the death of Phineas.
The animosity remains a major internal conflict for the brother throughout the story. As the story progresses, the narrator’s embarrassment of his brother’s disabilities leads him to mold Doodle so that he is not as embarrassed by him. This is the point where the theme of the story becomes exposed to the reader, that love can make a person do cruel things. Hurst uses the conflict that the brother has with himself about accepting his brother, the cruel actions that the brother directs toward his brother, and the irony that is woven throughout the story to further emphasize the theme. Hurst utilizes external conflict to further his message, that cruelty can sometimes, be a way that someone might express love.