In the novel, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, how adversity effects on human spirit is shown by jealousy, guilt, and surroundings in a negative way due to the incidences that occur in this novel. Adversity is something that everyone faces at one point in their life, it is the difficulties that make us move on and learn from our mistakes.
In this novel adversity has a strong effect on an individual because it affects the viewpoint of life. The way one preserves things of life is all based on their surroundings or what they believe in that results in their perspective. In this case, Gene was affected by Finny because Gene always looked up to Finny and the way he handled situations, including his athletic side. "I lost part of myself to ...view middle of the document...
"Was he trying to impress me or something? Not tell anybody? When he had broken a school record without day of practice? I knew he was serious about it, so I didn't tell anybody. Perhaps for that reason his accomplishment took root in my mind and grew rapidly in the darkness where I was forced to hide it” (Page 44). Gene is not happy about Finny's achievement, as it states he was “forced to hide it”. Also, true friend wouldn't hide achievements that they are proud of because it’s something an individual would value. It is also ironic because a best friend is proud and supportive of their own friends and their accomplishments, instead of questioning who they did it for. In this novel, jealousy is mostly shown by Gene because of his difference between Phineas, as Phineas is more of a natural athlete than Gene.
Guilt is also shown in this novel as Gene is responsible for Finny’s accident. “I spent as much time as I could alone in our room, trying to empty my mind of every thought, to forget where I was, even who I was” (Page 55). This line shows that Gene does not know who he is anymore because of all his thoughts that are getting in the way. He also knows that jealousy of Finny’s athletic side is what caused Gene to push Finny off the tree, since he did not have the ability to be as good as him in sports. In human spirit, it makes one realize to not do it again and move on from those actions.
In conclusion to, adversity is shown in A Separate Peace through jealousy, guiltiness and the viewpoints which has impacts on us and the surrounding due to the affects and the hardships an individual faces. All of these examples are created by ones feelings or circumstances they come across.