The Hostility Between Gene and Finny in A Separate Peace by John Knowles

The Hostility Between Gene and Finny in A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Length: 1098 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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. Gene’s increasing hostility towards Finny finally brings
the down fall of their friendship.
Gene’s first form of hostility toward Finny was the realization that
Finny could get away with anything. First instance was when Finny was
wearing his emblem, the pink button-down shirt, and Mr. Patch-Withers
came up to him. Mr. Patch-Withers ask him about the shirt and Finny told
him the meaning of the shirt. As he explained the substitute headmaster
became more amused about the situation and allowed Finny to get away
with breaking the school dress code. After this instance Gene admitted to
being envious of Finny in this Quote, “I was beginning to see that Phineas
could get away with anything. I couldn’t help envying him that a little,
which is perfectly normal. There was no harm in envying your best friend
a little.” (18) In this quote Gene is just saying that he envies his best
friend for some thing that he can’t do. This situation is the first of many
forms of hostility towards Finny that brings about the incident in the tree.
At the Patch-Withers party anther sign of Gene’s increasing envy towards
Finny is shown. This happens when Finny again gets away with breaking
the dress code. At the party when discussing the bombing of Europe, Mr.
Patch-Withers discovers that Finny is wearing the school tie with his pink
shirt. With some quick anecdotes about how his shirt is a contribution to
the war effort and also be glad he wore a belt because his pants could fall
down. With these quick anecdotes Finny got away with it, gave Mr.
Patch-Withers a good laugh and enraged Gene’s envy towards Finny.
Gene gave this quote about the instance, “He (Finny) had gotten away
with everything. I felt a sudden stab of disappointment........” (21) Gene
really does not know what he is feeling he says, but deep down it is hi...


... middle of paper ...


...out to
wreck my studies. That explained blitzball, that explained the nightly
meetings of the Super Suicide Society.............Sure he wanted to share
everything with me , especially his D’s in every subject. That way he, the
great athlete, would be way ahead of me. It was all cold trickery, it was all
calculated, it was all enmity.” (45) Gene thinks he was doing this by
cramming his schedule with clubs and sports so that he won’t have time to
study and wreck his school grades. Then Finny can be better than him at
everything. Gene’s misunderstanding of Finny, not understanding that Gene
did need to study and that it did not come naturally, enraged Gene more
making him ready to explode. “I (Finny) didn’t know you needed to study.”
(50) When Finny said this Gene took it way out of proportion making it
Gene’s final straw. Gene was so enraged that he could not take it that Finny
only meant that brains came natural. With the final straw gone Gene lost it.
His mind was in such confusion that he followed Finny out to the tree. He
climbed up it, and with out any regard for human life, Gene exploded. He
shook the limb making Finny lose his balance and fall to the ground.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Biography of John Knowles Essays

- John Knowles was born on 1962 in Fairmont, West Virginia and passed away on November 29, 2001. He was 15 years old when he became a student at Phillips Exeter Academy, a boarding school. After he graduated from there is 1945, he decided to join the war effort as part of the U.S. Army Air Force’s Aviation Cadet Program. John went to Europe and worked as a journalist until the mid 1950’s and then returned to the U.S in 1957. After returning, he took a job with the associate editor at Holiday magazine, Thornton Wilder....   [tags: American Novelist, A Separate Piece, Analysis]

Strong Essays
1515 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Analysis of Leper In A Separate Peace by John Knowles

- "Truth: the most deadly weapon ever discovered by humanity. Capable of destroying entire perceptual sets, cultures, and realities. Outlawed by all governments everywhere. Possession is normally punishable by death." John Gilmore's perception of truth portrays a view extremely relative to the novel, A Separate Peace, by John Knowles. Knowles creates a theme of veracity in animus within the novel and supports it through the unique character traits of Leper. First and foremost, Knowles characterizes Leper as a vulnerable outsider through his actions, words, and character as a whole....   [tags: Character Analysis, Genuinity]

Strong Essays
827 words (2.4 pages)

The Scarlett Ibis by James Hurst and A Separate Peace by John Knowles Essay

- Some people in society are judgmental toward people who belong to a minority. This unwanted prejudice and unfair treatment is, for many affected people, impossible to fully escape. In The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst and A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Gene and Doodle are able to detach themselves from society’s cruel interpretation of unique individuals. Doodle, crippled from birth, retreats to Old Woman Swamp. The secluded swamp is the only place he and his brother can forget the rest of society and view each other as equals, but ends up leading to Doodle’s death....   [tags: mocking prejudice]

Strong Essays
1385 words (4 pages)

Gene’s Transformation throughout "A Separate Peace" by John Knowles Essay

- In the novel, A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, the main character, Gene, transforms from a clueless individual, to one who understands events by the middle of the novel, when he starts to gain knowledge. By the end of the novel, Gene is a wise individual who has obtained his knowledge with age. In the beginning of the novel, Gene, is a clueless individual. He sees the worst in people and lets his evil side take over not only his mind but also his body. During the tree scene, Gene convinces himself that Finny isn’t his friend, tricking himself into thinking that Finny is a conniving foil that wants to sabotage his academic merit....   [tags: Separate Peace, John Knowles, ]

Strong Essays
582 words (1.7 pages)

A Separate Peace, by John Knowles Essay

- People frequently betray others because of the evil in their hearts. In A Separate Peace, John Knowles uses the pureness of the rakish Finny to portray the savage or bad side of the vulpine Gene. He also uses it to prove that peace is exceedingly difficult to acquire until a person accepts the ignorance in their own heart. That means that acceptance is the key to finding peace. Thus, Gene finds his peace when Finny forgives him and when Gene learns to forgive himself as well. Gene assumes that Finny and he despise each other, until he becomes aware of how flawless Finny really is, which Gene loathes....   [tags: A Separate Peace, John Knowles]

Strong Essays
740 words (2.1 pages)

Gene's Development in John Knowles' A Separate Peace Essays

- Gene's Development in John Knowles' A Separate Peace Throughout life, there is always a person who one strives to beat, be better than or rise above. Little does each of them know that in the end the two actually make each other stronger. In John Knowles' novel, A Separate Peace (1959), he addresses just this. The novel, told from Gene Forrester's point of view, is based on a friendship and rivalry between him and his friend, Finny, during World War II. The two sixteen year olds attend Devon School, a private all boys' school, in New Hampshire....   [tags: Knowles Separate Peace Essays]

Strong Essays
1118 words (3.2 pages)

Friendship in "A Separate Peace" by John Knowles Essay

- Friendship is one of the most important relationships that people form in all of their lives. Children build bonds when they are young and use those skills to continue fulfilling friendships for the rest of their lives. Throughout A Separate Peace, John Knowles displays the good things about close friendships but also the hardships that often occur. Gene and Finny are two boys that attend Devon school. Which is a school that closely reflects the one that Knowles attended while he was growing up....   [tags: Separate Peace, John Knowles, Friendship, ]

Strong Essays
652 words (1.9 pages)

A Separate Peace by John Knowles Essay

- A Separate Peace by John Knowles A Separate Peace was written by John Knowles in 1959 when he was 33. it is ser in a New Hampshire prep school during WWII. A few teens at this school are greatly affected by the war. Many adults are asking them to join the armed forces. Gene, the main character, trains with his once athletic star friend, Finny, for the Olympics. Although against the war many people request that he join. His other friend, Leper, joins and receives a Section 8 discharge for being considered "mentally unstable." Even though against the war, many of the boys do join the troops just to avoid being drafted to the front lines....   [tags: Knowles Separate Peace]

Free Essays
788 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on John Knowles' A Separate Peace

- John Knowles' "A Separate Peace"       Gene, returns to the Devon School in New Hampshire, where he was a student with his friend Phineas 15 years ago, just as World War II began. The book goes back 15 years, to Gene's days with Phineas. On their first chance to jump off a huge tree into the river, Phineas, being the daredevil, goes first and Gene is the only one who follows. Gene is normally a conservative, conformist type person, but around Phineas, he consents to break the rules more often. Finny is an irregularity at Devon....   [tags: John Knowles Separate Peace Essays]

Strong Essays
1417 words (4 pages)

Analysis of A Separate Peace by John Knowles Essay

- Analysis of A Separate Peace by John Knowles Telgen states John Knowles was born on 16 September 1926, in Fairmont, West Virginia. At the age of fifteen, Knowles attended New Hampshire's prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy. The Devon school, where most of the actions of A Separate Peace take place, is based on Phillips Exeter. After graduating from Exeter, Knowles entered Yale University for the 1944 fall term before going into the U.S. Army Air Force. After being discharged from service, he returned to Yale and continued his studies....   [tags: Knowles Separate Peace Analysis]

Free Essays
1499 words (4.3 pages)