The Indivisible Bond Essay

1072 words - 5 pages

The first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, Helen Keller, once claimed, “I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.” She offers to willingly sacrifice her happiness in order to be with a companion. Likewise, Gene and Finny, two major characters in A Separate Peace by John Knowles, will definitely state the same. In a school where adolescents make their closest friends and during a time the country endures hardships and troubles, Gene Forrester, an intellectual and reserved 17-year-old, becomes roommates and best friends with an exuberant and audacious school athlete, Phineas (a.k.a. Finny). During their years at the all-boys boarding school, these teenagers go through hindrances in their friendship that causes the two students to share an interesting amity that includes a combination of admiration, respect, and jealousy. Thus, Finny and Gene’s friendship represent a leader and follower relationship, a necessity in life, and a companionship that strengthens one another.
To begin with, Finny and Gene portray a leader and a follower in their comradeship. After hearing Finny’s decision to jump off the tree to start The Suicide Society meetings, Gene admits, “[t]he Charter Members, he and I, had to open every meeting by jumping ourselves… I hated it… But I always jumped” (Knowles 26). Even though Gene despises jumping down from the tree, he inevitably plunges into the water to avoid Finny’s disappointment. Gene sacrifices his own comfort for his best friend’s satisfaction. Obeying Phineas’ every command, Gene displays a disciple of his best friend. In addition, Gene openly announces Finny’s preeminence in the society when he describes, “[The Suicide Society] had been an idiosyncratic, leaderless band in the summer, undirected except by the eccentric notions of Phineas” (66). Subsequent to Finny’s departure, The Suicide Society roams around like a pack of wolves without their Alpha wolf. With no leader, the rest of the members return to their accustomed lives that they had before summer. In this passage, Gene frankly states that the society cannot function without Phineas. Lastly, as Phineas asserts that he will train Gene for the Olympics, “…[Gene] went along, as [he] always did, with any new invention of Finny’s”, and he states that “there was no harm in taking aim even if the target was a dream” (108). Gene realizes that Finny’s theory appears implausible; however, he continues to act as if Finny’s idea is the truth. Once again, Phineas pushes Gene away from the truth and pulls him closer to the ideas that he wants Gene to believe, and as Gene trusts his faith in Phineas, Gene symbolizes an adherent of Finny.
In addition, the liaison that the two friends share is a necessity in their lives. Once Finny returns from his convalescence and not long after Finny discovers Gene’s thoughts about going into war, Gene realizes, “Phineas was shocked at the idea of my leaving. In some way he needed me. He...

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