Friendship in John Knowles' A Separate Peace

Friendship in John Knowles' A Separate Peace

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Although a friendship often implies many similarities, Gene and Finny also appear very different in many aspects of life. Their friendship gives the impression that at some times it was unstable, but overall it was bound to be everlasting. This companionship is a primary example of any real-life friendship of the common person. It is possible to portray many differences within a friendship, but still hold on to whatever is the quintessence of the cohesion between the parties involved.

The similarities in a friendship are the elements that keep them alive and well. Gene and Finny both seem to know how to keep a secret. This is shown when Finny breaks the swimming record at Devon school and tells Gene not to get excited and keep it between the two of them. Gene, of course, agrees with Finny eventually and does not reveal his clandestine accomplishment. In a few instances throughout the story, Gene and Finny both tell one-another that they are surely best friends despite all of their adversity.

A difference in a friendship usually will not have a permanent effect on the people involved. Finny is extremely competitive, whereas Gene does not care too much for sports. This is exemplified when Finny creates his own game called blitzball. Gene plays along with the game, but never really becomes interested in the same game that everyone loves. Finny is very inventive and persuasive, however, Gene usually goes with the crowd. Part of Finny’s new blitzball game was that rules were made up as the game progressed. When Gene gets the ball, he neglects to be creative and just imitates something he saw earlier by another kid. Gene wants and loves to study; in contrast, Finny tries to study but usually gives up. When Gene and Finny are at the beach together, Gene keeps saying that he needs to go back to school to study.

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Finny says that there is no need to study and tries to keep Gene at the beach. Gene figures out that Finny is just trying to sabotage his studies and coerce him into playing sports and enjoying what life has to offer.

Gene and Finny’s disagreements never really prevented them from continuing their long-lasting friendship. Without contrasting views, a friendship would not work. The problems are usually the tools that bring people closer together.
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