A Separate Peace, John Knowles, Comarison and Contrast

Essay by kbktownUniversity, Bachelor'sB, November 2004

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The novel "A Separate Peace" written by the Author John Knowles tells a story about a friendship between two students, who attend the same fictional school named Devon, during the early years of World War II. To understand the intense relationship between the two jung boys, the focus of this essay is directed towards the differences in their characters. There are secondary characters involved and the novels focal point is the inner war Gene is fighting against his invisible enemies, and the ongoing World War II.

Gene Forrester is a quiet, intellectual student at Devon School in New Hampshire. During the summer session of 1942, he becomes close friends with daredevil roommate Finny, whose innate charisma consistently allows him to get away with mischief.

Finny is a great athlete, friendly, outgoing and innovative. He is not a true scholar, but he tries hard to achieve acceptable grades.

He shows his athletic abilities in breaking a school record in swimming. He invents the blitz ball game where nobody can loose or win, and he includes his friend and other students. He suggests to Gene his best friend, to jump from a tree into a river, and involves him constantly in other activities. Finny's intentions are obviously good natured he tries to influence Gene to be more daring, spontaneous and athletic.

Gene analyzes the efforts of his friend as negative and untrustworthy. In his vision, Finny his friend is pushing him to make a dangerous jump out of a tree into a river. Gene hates to do it. Despite his fears and anxieties, he agrees to jump, his desire to be equal or better than Finny prevails. His motives are competitive and result in a secret rivalry.

Gene gradually begins to envy...