Finny As Symbolic Of Jesus In "A Separate Peace" By John Knowles

726 words - 3 pages

In the novel A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, Gene and Finny have boarding school experiences during World War II. Finny helps Gene mature throughout the story. Finny is an archetypal Jesus because of he preaches his ideas to his peers, his death is similar to Jesus’s, and his charismatic personality.
One reason Finny is an archetypal Jesus is because Finny preaches his ideas to his peers. For example, Finny invents a game called blitzball after being disappointed by other sports. “Blitzball was the surprise of the summer. Everybody played it…” (39). The rules of blitzball were completely improvised by Finny. He was able to create a game with no losers and everyone is a winner. There is really no end to it and Finny is able to teach the people playing the game that, “You always win at sports.” (35). Additionally, Finny plans the Winter Carnival. He plans the first Devon Winter Carnival and his peers listen to him and help him set it up. He inspires a new event and since it was Finny’s idea, everyone follows his instructions and helps him. Finny is the only person who would be able to successfully plan an event out of nowhere because he is one of the few people his peers listen to. To sum it up, Finny has many followers who listen to his words, like Jesus.
Secondly, Finny’s death is similar to Jesus’s. First of all, Finny dies because of Gene’s sin. When Gene visits Leper, Leper is the first to accuse him of making Finny fall out of the tree, “… you knocked Finny out of the tree.” (145). Gene symbolizes Judas because he betrayed Finny. His betrayal resulted in Finny’s death. Also, Brinker symbolizes Pontius Pilate. Brinker holds the trial which ends in Finny falling down the stairs. Brinker is partially responsible for Finny’s death. In addition, Gene is only able to forgive himself because Finny forgives him. Finny believes that everyone is good and sometimes something inside them drives them to do something wrong. He understands why Finny jounced the limb and forgives him. Finny’s death is redemption for Gene, and is more uplifting than tragic. Finny helped Gene accept his sin and...

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