Hatred In A Seperate Peace Essay

863 words - 3 pages

Hatred in A Seperate PeaceA man named Norman Vincent Peale once said that, "No one can avoid entirely an inner struggle between love and hate. We are all challenged by it. The question in everyone's life is not whether this feeling of hate and aggression can be done away with, but whether it can be successfully modified." This quote is reflected in John Knowles' novel, A Separate Peace. The hatred in this book is focused inside Gene, the main character. Gene developed hatred and jealousy towards his friend and classmate Finny which is illustrated in the following line: "Finny could get away with anything. I couldn't help envying him...which was perfectly normal. There was no harm in envying even your best friend...a little." Genes' hate and jealousy is uncontrollable and, as he realizes in the end, inevitable.Gene has an uncontrollable hatred that is ever burning inside of him. It can ignite into a blazing inferno one moment or in a flash it can be as calm as a soothing summer day. This hatred is discovered when Gene and Finny are standing atop the oak tree outside of Devon, and are about to make a "double jump" in the river, what happens will be seen in the following excerpt taken from A Separate Peace. "Holding firmly to the trunk I took a step toward him [Finny], and then my knees bent and I jounced the limb. Finny, his balance gone, swung his head around to look at me for an instant with extreme interest, and then he tumbled sideways, broke through the little branches belowSoorma 2and his body hit the ground with a sickening unnatural thud. With unthinking sureness I movie out on the limb and jumped into the river, every trace of my fear of this forgotten." Genes' momentary change from cheerfulness to hateful intent confirms the fact that hatred is uncontrollable. Another example of uncontrollable hatred is when Gene knocked Leper out of his chair. Gene and Leper were talking after Leper had been discharged from the army under Section 8. Leper said to Gene, "...It's you we happen to be talking about now. Like a savage underneath. Like that time you knocked Finny out of the tree." Gene abruptly stood up and kicked Leper of his chair. In both examples confirm the fact that hatred is uncontrollable.It is this same hatred that is also inevitable. The best example of this is the fact that the war, symbolic of hatred, eventually comes down upon Devon. Gene said, "Between the buildings, elms curved so high...

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