A Separate Peace by John Knowles

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In A Separate Peace, how would you describe Gene's and Finny's relationship? friendship, human nature, the realizations gene comes to in the story

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Throughout the novel, Gene and Finny's relationship develops and changes as Gene's insecurities indirectly cost Finny his life. Initially, Gene and Finny begin their summer session at Devon as best friends. Gene, who is fascinated and attracted to everything that Finny does, reluctantly follows his friend into some precarious, unforgettable situations. However, Gene's insecurities manifest into jealousy toward Finny as he begins to view Finny as more of a rival than friend. Gene drastically misinterprets Finny's motivations and feelings towards him by thinking,

I found a single sustaining thought. The thought was, You and Phineas are even already. You are even in enmity. You are both coldly driving ahead for yourselves alone. You did hate him for breaking that school swimming record, but so what? He hated you for getting an A in every course but one last term. You would have had an A in that one except for him. Except for him (Knowles, 24).

While Finny innocently trusts Gene and has no harmful feelings towards him, Gene deeply resents Finny for his natural charisma and effortless ability to succeed. Gene's insecurities and jealousy take a turn for the worse when he decides to purposely make Finny fall from a tree, which shatters Finny's leg.

After Finny becomes incapacitated from his injury, Gene's sense of remorse is evident. However, by making Finny his "equal," Gene's love for his friend is finally revealed in the mirror scene when Gene puts on Finny's clothes. Gene and Finny essentially become codependent on one another, and Gene's feelings toward his friend seem genuine. Unfortunately, Finny cannot deal with the reality that Gene purposely made him fall from the tree and dies of complications stemming from...

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