Hidden Jealousy: "A Separate Peace" by John Knowles (page numbers in text refer to pages in the book)

Essay by curlygurl710Junior High, 9th grade October 2007

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A friendship is not foolproof. When something comes between friends, the result couldbe disastrous. No, not another person, but an emotion that one keeps to himself. Gene andPhineas were opposites, so they obviously attracted. Gene, the studious introvert, and Finny thepopular athlete became great friends, until Gene began to be secretly jealous of Finny. Through asudden surge of anger, he jounced the limb Finny was going to jump off of, intending to hurthim. Gene jounced the limb because he was jealous. Under his friendship lay his jealousy ofFinny's talents and abilities, which was unknown to Gene himself. His jealousy slowly began toruin the magic of their friendship.

Gene succeeded in his studies while Finny succeeded in athletics. Their differentpersonalities may be why their friendship seemed so likely to succeed. When Finny chose Geneas a friend, Gene's world opened up as the friend of the most popular boy in school.

Finny occupied the throne while Gene was left with the backseat. "He (Finny) could also shine at many other things, with people for instance, the others in our dormitory, the faculty; in fact, ifyou stopped to think about it, Finny could shine with everyone, he attracted everyone he met "(pg. 40) Their different positions made them somewhat unequal in Gene's mind, a subtle start tohis jealousy.

Phineas had many qualities that everyone admired: his amazing athletic abilities, his easy-going manner, and his famous ability to get out of any kind of trouble. Gene was obviouslyenvious of his gifts, but didn't realize it until much later. After Finny and Gene returned from the beach, Gene failed his trigonometry test that he didn't study for, having been at the beach. Laterthat evening, Gene comes to a realization: "Finny had deliberately set out to wreck my studies.. It was all...