Gene in A Seperate Peace

Gene in A Seperate Peace

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At a young age everyone creates an enemy. Peace comes when this enemy leaves or has been destroyed. Everyone must fight, negotiate, and/or struggle with their enemy to be left with nothing but peace. Gene Forrester was the main character in the book A Separate Peace by John Knowles, which took place in the time of World War II. He made his enemy leave, through the death of his best friend Finny. As a result of fighting the wrong battle, Gene apologized to his friend Finny and found peace.
After the highly athletic person Finny “Falls” from the tree, Gene begins to wonder who his friends are, and why his friends are his friends. At this time Gene starts to create a part of his enemy, “Jealousy”. Gene didn’t know if it was an accident when Finny fell from the tree, or if it was the jealousy that hurt his pal. Gene reflects “Could it be that, he might even be right? Had I really and defiantly and knowingly done it to him after all?” (70, Knowles). Gene is unsure and begins to question himself and weather his best friend is truly, his best friend. Gene is jealous of Finnys natural athleticism, Gene isn’t very athletic but does well in school, Finny is the opposite. Gene wonders to himself if he had been so jealous to just hurt, or possibly even kill his roommate and best friend. This was an internal battle, between his jealous side VS. his moral side. The jealous side wanted Finny out of the way, so he could become good at everything, and the moral side wanted to stay morally straight. Unfortunately his jealous side won this battle.
When the enemy leaves, that person may not realize that his/her enemy has left for a duration of time, that person could be preoccupied with something else, or creating another enemy. This duration of time could be 15 years or two months, it could be any time at all. When Gene is on the battlefield getting ready to try to kill his enemy (literally) he realizes that his enemy has been gone since the death of his best friend Finny. Finny died from a nasty fall down the stairs and broke his leg again, the marrow from his bone flowed into his heart and killed him.

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Before his death Gene went to see him, and he apologized. At that point in time Gene killed his enemy, which was all the negative emotions, like jealousy. Gene thinks to himself “I was on active duty all my time at school, I had killed my enemy there,” (204). Gene, at that moment realized his enemy was gone, he killed him. By apologizing, he made peace within himself. Later, on the battlefield of WWII he realized he had done it.
After you kill your enemy, it may take a while to realize you have killed it. During that time you may do something regrettable, of forget about your enemy altogether. In Gene’s case, he had to come back where it all began, the boarding school called Devon, fifteen years later to find out that he had already made peace with himself. “…I could achieve, perhaps unknowingly already had achieved this growth and harmony myself,” (12). This is in the beginning of the book, before he has his extremely long flashback. Gene had to go back and try to help himself out, by finding the problem, the problem that was already taken care of. The enemy that he killed was his emotions, the emotions of hatred and jealousy towards his pure loving, best friend Finny.
Only you can create peace inside yourself by realizing and controlling the monster you have created. When Gene tries to create peace, he learnes that his troubles were inside himself. By saying sorry to Finny, for all the wrong that he had done, he made the peace he had been longing for. When gene pushed his friend away. He began to question their friendship. When he first realized he killed the enemy, he didn’t have to worry about his internal conflict. This was his last battle with his emotions. True peace can only be found in oneself.
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