Separate People (A Separate Peace) John Knowles

Essay by sweet_babidollHigh School, 10th gradeA, June 2005

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True friends always have some similar characteristics. They are not exactly the same; otherwise they probably would not be able to stand each other. John Knowles, the author of A Separate Peace, two completely different people are drawn together by each other's different traits. These friends are Finny, the wild and unruly one, and Gene, the wannabe Finny.

Gene and Finny are different in many ways. One of these major ways is that Finny excels more in athletics than Gene. Gene wants to be just like Finny. They would have competitions, but Finny would always outdo Gene. Once, they had a "brief wrestling match on the turf," (Knowles 7) which Finny won, of course. When Gene shook the limb and caused Finny to fall, he was very upset that he had done that to his best friend. He just wanted to forget that it ever happened. Gene saw Finny as an unbreakable person.

To fall was the worse thing in the world that could have happened to Finny. Finny would never be able to play sports again. It kind of hurt him to see Finny hurting, especially since he had "never seen Finny crying" (106) before until all of his friends were arguing over what EXACTLY happened to him. He could not figure it out, but all he knew was that the tragic accident must have really impacted Finny a great deal.

Gene and Finny are not only different physically, but also mentally. Gene was completely involved in his grades and would even turn against Finny at times because he thought he was trying to sabotage his dream of becoming Valedictorian. Finny had other things to worry about other than grades compared to Gene who thought that "'somebody's got to be the head of the class'" (27).