Essay about A Separate Peace By John Knowles

1118 Words Apr 24th, 2016 5 Pages
In John Knowles’ novel, A Separate Peace, characters learn the struggle of identity. The novel explains that identity is created by relationships and self worth and it is also difficult to establish in adolescence. At Devon, the boys establish parts of their identities through the relationships they make.
Gene and Finny struggle to hold on to the meaning and importance of their friendship. Gene bases their relationship on jealousy which leads to rivalry. Gene also comments on rivalry that he experienced at Devon when he says, “ But examinations were at hand. The Suicide Society continued to meet every evening, and I continued to attend, because I didn’t want Finny to understand me as I understood him,” ( Knowles 56). Gene is confused with himself when it comes to his identity. This confusion leads to jealousy in more than one of his relationships, but most prevalently in the relationship with Finny. Gene’s jealously can be associated with other emotions such as, admiration and love. He doesn 't know how to handle his jealousy and often is mixed up with other emotions such as loyalty. This is evident when Finny tells him that he sees him as his best friend and Gene responds to himself, “ But something held me back. Perhaps I stopped by that level of feeling, deeper than thought, which contains the truth,” ( Knowles 48).
His ego is raised when Finny is distraught about him enlisting. Gene says, “ In someway he needed me. He needed me.” ( Knowles 108). He likes the fact that…

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