A Separate Peace by John Knowles

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What are two internal conflicts that Gene has that he covers up with a lie that results in fear and guilt?

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Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I would say the larger of the two internal conflicts that Gene has and has to cover up with a lie is the conflict about whether or not he bounced the branch and knocked Finny off it.  Yes, Gene did bounce the branch, and in a round about way that single event is what ended up killing Finny.  Throughout the novel, though, Gene is constantly trying to convince himself and others that he did not bounce the branch intentionally or unintentionally.  Gene is terrified that other students will figure it out.  

The branch bouncing incident makes Gene feel guilty in two specific ways.  First, he feels...

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