"A Separate Peace" by John Knowles This essay describes how Gene Forresters personality seems to change througout the course of the book.

Essay by mulletmon August 2005

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A Separate Peace by John Knowles may appear to be a simple little book at first glance. However, it is actually a fairly complex book with many interesting and versatile characters. One of these characters, Gene Forrester, almost seems to have multiple personalities by the way he acts differently around different people. He even acts differently towards the same people too and is constantly changing what he believes.

The main portion of the book deals with Gene's relationship with his roommate Phineas. It is especially in this relationship where you can see evidence of the multi-faceted personality of Gene Forrester. They are friends but Gene is always trying to think of why Finny is his friend. At one point, he becomes convinced that Finny wants to sabotage him and he starts hating Finny. "I forgot whom I hated and whom hated me" (p. 60). Then after Finny is hurt, he changes his persona towards him and even becomes kind of protective of him.

"Do you think you ought to get into fights like that? After all, there's your leg_"(p.178). Later on he tries to keep him from emotional pain as well, by trying to talk Brinker out of confronting him. If he's that different with the same person, imagine the possibility of how he relates with other people...

Gene seems at times to act with a certain mannerism or have a certain mood for anyone at any time. For example, when he got into an argument with a student he didn't like he said, "The next time you call someone maimed...you better make sure he is first" (p.89). Yet later that same day when a teacher asks him about that fight, he is very polite and courteous again. "No, sir. I'm sorry, sir, I fell into...