Advanced English 11
12 August 2014
A Separate Peace
Who was Gene's ultimate enemy in the end? In order to determine the enemy that Gene killed, we must first recognize the object of his anger, which appeared to be Finny throughout the entire novel. But was there another enemy that Gene needed dead more so than Finny?
Gene did not have a lot of faith in anyone at Devon, especially Phineas, the one he referred to as his best friend. At one point Gene manufactured the idea that Finny had been attempting to sabotage his academic success. He believed that Finny wanted to be the number one athlete and make Gene cease to be number one for grades. As Gene says, "Sure, he wanted to share everything with me, especially his procession of D's in every subject. That way he, the great athlete, would be way ahead of me."(45)
Gene began to question Finny's motives, wondering if Finny had been pretending to be the good natured individual he was perceived as being.
Gene felt some guilt for pondering the idea that his best pal was a secret mastermind of underhanded trickery, but it seemed as though this guilt lasted only a moment. Moreover, after Gene appeared to feel ridiculous for his theory, it was then that he caused Finny to lose his balance in the tree, and fall to shatter his leg. Gene plays it off as a spontaneous urge when he describes his reason for doing such a thing to Phineas, but to me there is no question that Gene's motive may have been to take away the one thing Finny had over him and everyone else at Devon: his athleticism. I think that Gene
had wanted to do something to...