In A Separate Peace


5/18/04


essay


In A Separate Peace, written by John Knowles the story takes place in a boarding school called Devon and is the story about the boys that go there during WWII.. The main character Gene is narrating the story of the time that he spent at the boarding school. He had a friend named Finny who he believes that he caused his friend to break his leg and later his death. While the rest of the boys talk about going to war Finny talks about going to the Olympicís. Gene feels that he could never measure up to Finny and is sometime angered and even jealous and resentful. Gene will still follow Finny anywhere even jumping from a tree limb into the river. Finny said it best , when he said to Gene," just you and me" when they first met and decided to jump from the tree the first time.


Although threw the story Gene feels jealous of Finny and even at times thinks that Finny is trying to get him into trouble he still went along with his ideas. Like one day in stead of studying they went off to the ocean to go swimming. Gene felt afterwards that Finny does it on purpose so he would get bad grades because it was the only thing that he was better at. One day Finny wanted to jump from the tree into the river again. Gene didnít really want to do it and was still resentful towards him but Finny calls to Gene, "letís go, you and me." They were going to jump from the tree together. Finny climbed up first and him but when Gene got to the limb he was holding on but his knees bent and he jounced the limb causing Finny to fall and broke his leg. Gene is ashamed of himself and Finny doesnít feel that it was Gene fault at all.


As the story goes on and the war effort comes to their boarding school and the other boys are talking of it, Finny wants Gene to take his place in the Olympicís and stay out of the war. When Finny believes that Gene shook the tree limb on purpose he starts to cry and leaves the room slipping on the marble floors and breaking his leg again. At this point Gene realizes that all along he was only and extension of Finny and that there was no better friend in the world. When he goes to Finny and tells him how sorry he is, Finny understands. He tells Gene that he knows that he doesnít hate him. He tells Gene," I believe you. Itís okay because I understand and I believe you. Youíve already shown me and I believe you." Finny died that night but Gene went on to understand what Finny was trying to tell him and he never did develop any true hate.