"I did not cry then or ever about Finny. I did not cry even when I stood watching him being lowered into his family's strait-laced burial ground outside of Boston. I could not escape a feeling that this was my own funeral, and you do not cry in that case." Page 186, A Separate peace, by John Knowles
Phineas was dead and I could not cry. The cry was caught in my throat and I could not get it out. I could feel the tears hiding in their ducts laughing at my weakness. This was my funeral. Because in all ways, we are Phineas, optimistic, fantasizing, forgiving and athletic, and in all ways, we are Gene, paranoid, unworthy, indifferent, and self-centered. I shiver at the thought of myself as two inseparable entities, rarely recognized as being independent. In every moment, we are faced with this unseen battle with ourselves.
Phineas is naturally graceful; in his walk, his talk, and his mind.
The paragon for all best friends. Forgiving. Almost so forgiving as to be naÃÂ¯ve. Almost perfect.
Gene is everything we are. Every single person in this world is Gene. Sarcastic to hide our weakness, plotting, and untruthful, even to ourselves. Doing things for the wrong reasons.
Is man inherently evil? As a child we knew as much of this Gene character as I do now. Brooding in my subconscious, selfish, and, yes, evil. Just the little things. Jealousy of his or her toys or accomplishments. Hungry for attention and praise. And selfish. Most of all selfish. I often think that there was no act done when we were children, that was not selfish. I was born selfish; no one could touch my mother without a yelp of frustration and warning from me. Do we hold on to these feelings...