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"A Separate Peace" By John Knowles.

1120 words - 4 pages

A Separate Peace(Compare and Contrast Finny and Gene)Have you ever had a best friend who was the complete the opposite of you? The novel, A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, tells of a pair of best friends who vary quite a bit from one another. Gene's best friend, Finny, is an athletic individual who loves to break the rules while he himself is a law abiding studious person. The two main characters in this novel are similar to and different from each other in many ways.Finny is the epitome of the good in the human heart. He, unlike Gene, disregards the rules. An example of this is when Finny jumps out of the big tree near the river although it is against the rules. He considers authority the "necessary evil against which happiness was achieved." He also breaks the rules when he wears the Devon School tie as a belt to a traditional term tea. Finny is also much more of an individual and extrovert than Gene. While others wouldn't dare, Finny wore a pink tee shirt to school as an emblem of celebration that the United States had bombed Central Europe. This also shows us that he is very confident of himself. On the contrary of Gene, Finny is very persuasive and gets out of most of the trouble he gets himself into. As Gene puts it, Finny is "able to get away with anything at all." Unlike most students who wear the Devon School tie as a belt, Finny was able to talk the schoolmaster out of punishing him for that and for missing nine dinners in two weeks. Finny also loves anything athletic and is the best athlete at the school. He is a great football player, swimmer, and blitzball player. He even broke the school swimming record on his first try. This brings up another of Finny's characteristics: he has an innocent nature. While Finny broke the school swimming record, he didn't want to tell anyone because he "just wanted to see if" he "could do it." He just did it for himself. Finny has nothing to prove to anyone, which is the complete opposite of Gene. Gene is completely shocked by Finny's decision to just keep it a secret because he has a much greater competitive nature. Unlike Gene, Finny saves Gene's life by grabbing his arm while he was falling out of the big tree. Finny also shows that he cares about others when he tells Gene that he was his best friend, which is unheard of in an all boy school. Another difference from Gene is that Finny is a poor student. He makes Gene do some of his homework for him and gets barely passing grades. Similar to Gene, Finny is also in denial of reality. Finny denies the existence of the war by inventing the story that World War II had been started by "a bunch of fat old men" who didn't want the young "crowding their jobs" and denies the fact that Gene had jounced the limb on purpose. He denied both because he cannot accept a reality that doesn't include him and a painful one respectively.Gene is the complete opposite of Finny. Unlike Finny, Gene is an introverted person who abides by the rules....

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