A comparison/contrast of two characters of the book A Separate Peace by John Knowles.
A Separate Peace by John Knowles is an excellent book. It portrays the life of teenagers during the Second World War, and how they had to live knowing that after high school they had to go into the service. This book also showed how they competed, which led to the loss of good friends. Out of the whole book, it focuses on mainly two characters, Phineas (a.k.a. Finny) and Gene. I will compare and contrast them.
Gene is a smart, normal student. He is the typical teenager at Devon, the all male boarding school in New Hampshire that this story is based on, studying, competing, and just being a teen. But things happen in the story that makes you change your mind about him, mainly his relationship between him and Finny. Jealousy overtook Gene’s mind, eventually making have bad choices, like pushing Finny out of a tree, which led to his death. At the end Gene was a mixed up person, full of guilt and sadness.
Finny was the all around athlete, always winning trophies, and competing in events. When it came to work, school work that is, he just passed. He claimed that he just can’t learn when it really was his choice of not doing well. He didn’t want to be good, because he was jealous of Gene for being good, and didn’t want to show that jealousy. After doing a lot of jumps out of a tree into the river, Finny had the idea to do a double jump, which in one way or another led to his death. Gene subconsciously shuffled his feet, knocking Finny off of the tree, breaking his bones, and ending his career in sports and in the army. Finny wanted to be good in sports, but not praised, and he wanted to join the army, even though he said there was no war. Overall Finny was an athletic person that wanted to be like everyone else, while at the same time stand out in the crowd. He wanted to be himself.
Together the pair makes a good team. They always team up when doing things, making the super secret suicide society idea, and of the tree jumping altogether. They always shared rooms, and even though Gene knocked Finny off of the tree, they were friends, for a while anyways. They were both jealous of each other, but that was expected as they were both good in different ways. Finny was good in sports, while Gene was good at school work. Finny was good with convincing people, and Gene was good at thinking up things to tell people, more like explanations. Overall they were the same because of jealousy and their extreme abilities at school subjects.
A Separate Peace by John Knowles, and the characters in it are very confusing, and interesting at the same time. The differences between Gene and Finny made the story move along in a sort of conflicting way, always showing the differences between the two while they are having good times. Gene and Finny would always be different and the same at the same time, even if the story didn’t end the way it did. I believe that not only the jealousy bringing them together made the story good, but also the fact that they were better at each others weaknesses. In the end, those two factors made A Separate Peace a great story.