Peril is everywhere in the book A Separate Peace. Written by John Knowles, this book carries one of the most interesting literary character, Phineas. Finny seems to be a very optimistic character. But can being optimistic be a good thing? Finny has his good and bad sides. He is athletic, but also unrealistic and too optimistic. Not that he is a bad person, just the personality he has clouds his judgment.
One of the positive traits about Finny is that he is athletic. You can he is athletic because he invented the game ÃÂ¡ÃÂ°blitz ball.ÃÂ¡ÃÂ± ÃÂ¡ÃÂ°He had unconsciously invented a game which brought his own athletic gifts to their highest pitchÃÂ¡ÃÂ±(31). Even without trying, Finny could make a brand new game and win it every time. Finny also ruled the water. He beat the school record without the slightest trace of a tiring bone. ÃÂ¡ÃÂ°I noticed no particular slackening of his paceÃÂ¡ÃÂ¦ÃÂ¡ÃÂ±(35).
Even though FinnyÃÂ¡ÃÂ¯s athletic abilities are good, what about the bad? Finny lives in his own world. He is unrealistic. He does not want to believe that there is a war going on. He says, ÃÂ¡ÃÂ°ThatÃÂ¡ÃÂ¯s what this whole war story is. A medicinal drugÃÂ¡ÃÂ¦theyÃÂ¡ÃÂ¯ve made it all up. There isnÃÂ¡ÃÂ¯t any real food shortage, for instance. The men have all the best steaksÃÂ¡ÃÂ¦ÃÂ¡ÃÂ±(107). The idealist in finny will not accept the fact that life is not perfect. Finny seems to think that life is fun. It is all fun and play. The word ÃÂ¡ÃÂ°workÃÂ¡ÃÂ± does not exist in his dictionary. Finny would skip classes, or lunch to do something fun and new. ÃÂ¡ÃÂ°ÃÂ¡ÃÂ¦forbidden, completely out of all bounds. Going there risked expulsion, destroyed the studying I was going to do for an important test the next morning.ÃÂ¡ÃÂ±(37). Finny never cared for the rules and got too optimistic.
Finny is too optimistic about everything. Believe that there is no war, Finny is trying to train Gene to be in the Olympics in 1944. ÃÂ¡ÃÂ°Leave your fantasy life out of this. WeÃÂ¡ÃÂ¯re grooming you for the Olympics, pal, in 1944ÃÂ¡ÃÂ±(109). Finny could break every single rule at Devon and never get caught. This makes him even more optimistic, knowing that he could get away with anything. ÃÂ¡ÃÂ°The faculty threw up its hand over Phineas, and so loosened its grip on all of usÃÂ¡ÃÂ±(16). If I were Finny, I could try and bend the rules like Finny does.
The side that is always seen might make us think that Finny is an angel. No matter what, Finny will always have a good and bad side. He will be agile, but also impractical and too sanguine. Finny is not the perfect person others see. He makes as many mistakes as anyone else. Just because oneÃÂ¡ÃÂ¯s intentions are good, does not mean he person is. Finny is not a one sided person. You know that even Finny, comes in all shapes and sizes.