A Seperate PEace

Essay by Girlychic6Junior High, 9th gradeA, March 2004

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In life people are often faced with circumstances. These circumstances can either help the person grow, or it may give the person sorrow and pain. John Knowles in A Separate Peace places his characters in situations, which they could either grow from or could suffer. As humans we wish that everyone will change for the good, unfortunately that doesn't always happen. We can see this through the two protagonists in A Separate peace; Gene and Finny.

Gene Forrester, a protagonist in A Separate Peace, starts off initially as a shallow, immature young man. Gene is shallow and immature because he always wants to be better than Finny- his roommate and best friend. This is depicted when Finny wasn't in the room and Gene started trying on Finny's clothes. When he looked in the mirror he felt good and happy. Gene feels that the only way he could be better than Finny is if he physically hurts him.

Consequently Gene is constantly looking for a way to hurt Finny. He has an inner conflict here that Finny is unaware of. One day Finny and Gene were climbing a tree, and jumping from branch to branch. Gene by accident (although subconsciously he was thinking of doing this to Finny) pushes Finny off the tree and Finny breaks his leg. This incident changes Gene as a person; he becomes in his own eyes a better person. In reality he is not. He is now better than Finny, due to the fact that he is teaching Finny and Finny is not teaching him. This incident is a very painful occurrence because pushing a friend off a tree and injuring them is not a solution. Following this incident Gene becomes less mature because he felt that he was better than Finny now. When Gene...