A Review Of "A Seperate Peace" By John Knowles

1197 words - 5 pages

In the novel 'A Separate Peace,' by John Knowles, a boy named Gene visits his high school 15 years after graduating in order to find an inner peace. While attending the private boys school during the second World War, Gene's best friend Phineas died and Gene knows he was partially responsible. Phineas, or Finny as he was sometimes called, was the most popular boy in school. He was a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. Gene, on the other hand, was a lonely, self-sufficient intellectual. Somehow the two became good friends, or so Finny thought. Gene, unfortunately, was bitten by the green-eyed monster of jealousy. Gene just couldn't come to grips with the idea that a person of Finny's ...view middle of the document...

' In certain ways he was.Throughout the book Gene knows that Finny has some strong beliefs. The first three he noticed were: 'Never say you are five feet nine when you are really five feet eight and a half'; 'Always say some prayers at night because it might turn out that there is a god'; and 'You always win at sports.' The latter of the three was amazing because to Finny all you had to do was play to win at a sport. Unfortunately, this all added up to a point where jealousy overcame Gene and caused him to injure Finny. Gene and Finny had started a Super Suicide Society which included a jump from both Finny and Gene at the beginning of every meeting. This time Finny came up with the idea that they both jump at the same time. They were in the tree with Finny farther out on the jumping limb when Gene's '...knees bent and I jounced the limb.' Finny fell and shattered his leg. Gene became overwhelmed by sorrow because he had caused his best friend to shatter his leg. The most athletic person in the school could no longer play sports. Gene eventually got up the nerve to go to Finny and tell him the truth about causing the fall. However when he got to him it was Finny who apologized, saying, 'I'm sorry about that, Gene,' Meaning, he regretted the feeling he had that Gene had actually caused him to fall. Finny believed that a friend would never do a thing like that.Finny was a great person and one of his best qualities was his ability to forgive. Gene and Finny became friends again once Finny was able to return to school. All seemed well until the boy in the room across the hall started to get suspicious that Finny didn't accidentally fall out of the tree. He wound up tricking Gene and Phineas into going to a investigation to find out what really happened. The investigation included the testimony of a witness who was at the meeting when Finny fell. He said, 'they moved like an engine... The one holding on to the trunk sank for a second, up and down like a piston, and then...

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