What quotes support the themes of  jealousy, irresponsibility, denial, and insecurity in A Separate Peace?

Asked on by rnjswldyd

4 Answers | Add Yours

mrs-campbell's profile pic

mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

You are going to be able to find a lot of these quotes in the opening chapters of the book.  For example, look a few pages into chapter 2.  Gene says of Finny wearing the pink shirt, "I couldn't help envying him a little."  Later, after the tie incident, Gene says,

"He had gotten away with it.  I felt a sudden stab of disappointment.  That was because I just wanted to see some more excitement; that must have been it."

But in reality, it was because he was jealous of Finny getting away with everything, and wanted to see him have to pay the consequence, just like everyone else, for once. Later, towards the end of chapter 3 after Finny breaks the school record, Gene is actually mad about it.  He states, "Was he trying to impress me or something?"  At the very, very end the chapter, Gene doesn't tell Finny that he is his best friend after Finny does, because

"I was stopped by that level of feeling, deeper than though, which contains the truth."

The truth was, he was jealous of Finny more than he liked him, and so he couldn't just state outright that Finny was his best friend, because he felt like Finny was more of a competitor than a best friend.  A few pages into chapter 4, Gene thinks bitterly, "Finny had deliberately set out to wreck my studies," which is him manifesting malevolent overtones to Finny's friendship, another symptom of jealousy.

For your other themes, submit them each as separate questions, since the format of this website allows for one question a day.  I hope these quotes help a bit with the jealousy theme though; good luck!

We’ve answered 319,814 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question