In A Separate Peace by John Knowles, he introduces two important characters Gene and Finny. In the book the reader follows them though their trials and tribulations be that Finny’s broken leg or Gene’s jealousy towards Finny. Knowles use of friendship narrows in on Gene and Finny’s loyalty, competition, and reality with each other.
Gene and Finny’s loyalty toward each other make two different conclusions. On Gene’s side the reader doesn’t know if Gene would ever save Finny from danger. However, the reader can see that Funny catches Gene from falling out of the tree. “There was a moment of total impersonal panic, then Finny’s hand shot out and grabbed my arm.” After Finny caught Gene, a few chapters later Knowles shoes Gene deliberately try to jostle Finny off the tree. Thus, showing no loyalty to Finny.
Gene competition against Finny can only be described as jealousy. From the very first time Knowles introduces Finny through Gene’s point of view as “ Even as a lower Middler Phineas had been the best athlete in the school.” Through this jealousy may not be seen right away but this quote just foreshadows the events to come.
Gene and Finny are kept in their own little world at the Decon school. Their reality seems to be based on their secret society or sports but what they don’t see is that a war is going. “We seemed to be nothing but children playing among heroic men.” This quote magnifies the world around them and their world at the school. It seems to Gene and Finny that they are so little it doesn’t seem like they can go out and fast the world alone, but when they are in school they feel like they ignore the war situation by doing different things to keep them occupied.
Knowles use of friendship narrows in on Gene and Finny’s loyalty, competion, and reality with each other. These three examples made Gene and Finny have a strong relationship with each other but which led in separate outcomes. Even though Gene was extremely jealous of Finny, Gene still treated Finny as his best friend. Finny always treated Gene the same way which led in a good friendship but a little bumpy down the road.