Finny’s Best Friend


In the novel A Separate Peace by John Knowles, there is a character named Gene Forester. Gene undergoes many changes from his days at Devon to when he becomes an adult. Gene comes back to Devon when he grows up, as he stands there he says “I Felt fears echo, and along with that I felt the unhinged, uncontrollable joy which had been it’s accompaniment and opposite face, joy which had broken out sometimes in those days like Northern Lights across the black sky.” His memories float back to him. When Gene is 16 he has counter conflicts within himself. See, Finny is Gene’s best friend. But Gene envies Finny so much that it makes him jealous. Cause Gene isn’t athletic and he’s shy. But Finny’s athletic and outgoing, so Gene looks up to Finny and follows him.


Gene is Finny’s best friend and visa versa. Since Finny is so outgoing he knows he can get Gene to do anything with him. For example, when they went to the beach. Finny suddenly says “Lets go to the beach.” Gene thinks about it “The beach was hours away by bicycle, forbidden, completely out of bounds. Going there risked expulsion, destroyed the studying I was going to do for an important test the next morning, blasted the reasonable amount of order I wanted to maintain in my life, and it also involved the kind of long labored bicycle ride I hated.”


without thinking about it he says “All right” Gene always followers Finny. I wouldn’t of gone if I was Gene, but he wants to stick by his friend. I don’t think Gene would go not that he’s grown up now. Gene matures alot. Plus Gene will never find a friend, as close as Finny was, to go with.


Gene is a good guy. But just like anyone he is envious and jealous. Gene envies Finny alot, often to the point of jealousy. Like the day at the tree. They we going to make a routine jump. But this time they were going to jump together. Gene describes what happened.


“ Holding firmly to the trunk, I took a step toward him, and then my knees bent and I jounced the limb. Finny, his balance gone, swung his head around to look at me for an instant with extreme interest, and then he tumbled sideways, broke through the little branches below and hit the bank with a sickening, unnatural thud.” Gene’s jealousy gave him that urge to shake that branch. That was a turning point in the book and Gene’s life. He also notices that Finny is human. The quote “It was the first clumsy physical action I had ever seen him make.” shows that. Gene shows great remorse for what he did. Gene isn’t likely to let his jealousy overtake him like that again.


Gene is smart, but he isn’t athletic. Finny is athletic, so Gene always struggled to keep up with him, until he hurt his arm. After the incident Finny tells Gene to get involved in sports. Finny doesn’t want to disappoint his best friend, and is dependent on Finny and doesn’t want to make him mad. He also feels guilty for hurting him, so he does as he says. But, instead of being a member of the team, Gene becomes, the manager. This way he doesn’t have to make of fool of himself with his lack of physical ability, and he satisfies Finny. Because of Gene’s low self-esteem he doesn’t even try to get on the team. But this changes when he grows up. His self-esteem increases, and he becomes more independent.


Gene under goes alot of changes, in between his day at Devon and when he grows up. He matures alot, and becomes independent. Gene also showed alot of remorse for what he did to Finny. After his final talk with Finny, Gene finally got his “Separate Peace.” Gene makes a closing speech about what he did to Finny. “I never killer anybody, and I never developed an intense level of hatred for the enemy. Because my war ended before I ever put on a uniform; I was on active duty all my time at school; I killed my enemy