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The Idealist and The Realist in A Separate Peace

A Seperate Peace

The Idealist

I would say that Finny(Phineas) was the biggest idealist in the story. His feelings and many things on many issues, made me think of him this way. The actions that Finny take in the novel make him seem as though he is the happiest person on the planet, like for instance when he says "There is no war", this showed that he wasn't really bothered by the war which during that time period I believe it meant happiness. Finny also never lost faith in his so called friend Gene even though I think he knew in the back of his mind that Gene was against him the whole time yet also admired him at the same point. Finny was spontanious person like the first time they jumped off the tree, and when he broke the school swimming record. Even with all of this Finny couldn't seem to take it upon himself to believe certain things like, Gene breaking his leg, or there not being a war. Although after breaking his leg however Finny is faced with his own personal struggle the bitterness of being a cripple and attempting to live in a world where sports and enlistment in the army are no longer a possibility. I think the second time Finny broke his leg he came to be one with the reality that he was in fact ruined, and that most of it was caused by Gene, and Gene's ill-will toward him, which caused him to be cripple in the first place. Yet Finny still thought to see his dreams out, only this time through Finny, he said things like Gene i'm going to start conditioning you for the olympics, and so forth and so on. Finny in all cases was the "Idealist" of the story, one of the close contenders was Leper though, yet Finny still was more idealistic.

The Realist

Gene(Narrator) is the most realistic in the novel, yet in a few ways he is also idealistic, but never the less still the realist of the story. His look on life is that there is a war but not a war on far away battle fields a war on the homefront, with being competitive with Finny, trying to ruin Finny, and knowing that he was in the process of breaking someones hopes and dreams. Gene best shows his realistic view point

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