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A Seperate Peace Essay

828 words - 4 pages

A Separate Peace sustains several different conflicts throughout the novel, both internally and externally. The emotions are constantly on a rollercoaster ride, going from happy, sad, then to resentment. Gene and Finny both have conflicting emotions about each other, resulting in diverse thoughts on one another, and issues within the friendship. The internal and external conflict by Gene and Finny are created through jealousy, insecurity, and friendship.

Jealousy is an emotion displayed throughout the novel, and is the main reason why Gene and Finny had issues is a direct result of jealousy. The first issue jealousy caused was Finny falling out of the tree, although the wind could have caused it, or an accidental shake -- Gene felt because of his jealousy towards Finny, he intentionally pushed him out of the tree, which sets the stage for the rest of the novel. “I was beginning to see that Phineas could get away with anything. I couldn’t help envying him a little, which was perfectly normal. There was no harm in envying even your best friend a little” (18) This quote is one of the first fragments of Gene admitting he is jealous of Finny, although at the moment it’s just a ‘little’ envy, it continues to grow, even after falling out of the tree. The second quote that speaks volume is “Finny had deliberately set out to wreck my studies….We were even after all, even in enmity. The deadly rivalry was on both sides after all” (45) Gene feels Finny is set out to intentionally ruin his life, and their friendship is nothing but a façade for Finny to be able to stay close to his enemy. The tree in many ways represents their friendship by the quote above, having blossoming flowers in one area (friendship), yet a cold, never changing wood holding the bond together. A Separate Peace contains jealousy throughout the novel, but it also contains insecurity.

Gene and Finny are both insecure, in many ways letting into insecurity is what caused jealousy to form. The first major part where Gene states his insecurity is when he says “…up went the hope that there was anyone in this school – in this world – whom I could trust” (45) Gene has become isolated from everyone, including his best friend. He feels Finny is an enemy, fighting to stop him from achieving anything. While Gene has several internal conflicts about his friendship with Finny,...

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