English II Honors
4 November 2002
A Part of Ourselves
In A Separate Peace by John Knowles, the characters of Phineas and Gene were best friends, roommates, and soul mates. Gene subconsciously wanted to be Finny, and he succeeded in becoming a part of Finny. "I lost part of myself to him then, and a soaring sense of freedom revealed that this must have been my purpose from the first: to become a part of Phineas" (77). After the tragedy of Phineas breaking his leg, Gene realizes that he becomes a part of Phineas. "Listen, pal, if I can't play sports, you're going to play them for me, and I lost part of myself to him then, and a soaring sense of freedom revealed that this must have been my purpose from the first: to become a part of Phineas." (109). Phineas and Gene were almost inseparable until the tragic death of Finny.
Phineas' death was when Gene finally realized how much of a part of him Phineas was. "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." (186). Gene realized he was living his life through Phineas. A part of Gene died when Phineas died.
Word Count: 241