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I Can Do Anything Better Than You

986 words - 4 pages

Competition is not just between two teams playing a sport. It could be between friends who are always competing against each other. In the novel, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, two friends, Gene and Finny, struggle with the differences between them. Gene focuses more on his academics, while Finny focuses more on athletics. This creates an unspoken rivalry, causing competition. The competition between Gene and Finny lead to jealousy, which changed Gene’s judgment about Finny.
At first, Gene loved his friend Finny. He considered him his best friend and looked up to him because of his athletic abilities and how he was able to get out of trouble by talking himself out of it. He felt they ...view middle of the document...

Gene is starting to think that Finny wants him to fail his classes so he can be on top. This would explain all the activities Finny is making Gene do like blitzball and attending the Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session meetings every night. The jealousy that Gene thinks Finny has for him makes him jealous of Finny because he wants to be on top.
Not only did Gene think that Finny was deliberately trying to be on, he also though that he was going to accomplish this goal by doing it secretly and still making him look like the “good guy”. While Gene and Finny were at the pool, they noticed a big bronze plaque for which the school kept the fastest swimming records. Finny said that he could beat the 100 Yards Free Style record; which was completed by A. Hopkins Parker in 53.0 seconds. So, to prove that he can beat the record, he had Gene time him while he swam the 100 yards. He beat A. Hopkins Parker’s record by .7 seconds. Gene was so excited for Finny and wanted to tell everyone his accomplishment. However, he told Gene that they “aren’t going to talk about this. It’s just between [Gene] and [himself]. Don’t say anything about it, to…anyone” (44). This surprised Gene. However, by being jealous of Finny, he tried to figure out what he was trying to do. He questioned if Finny was “trying to impress [him] or something“ (44)? Gene figured that Finny was trying to get on top without making him seem like that was his intention. As Gene thinks more and more about his relationship with Finny, he starts to see by his jealous judgment that they never had a true friendship.
The competition of trying to be on top is getting to Gene’s head. As Gene...

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