Gene And Phineas Character Analysis

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The core of a relationship lives in mutual trust, and when it is gone, it is very difficult to get back. This holds true to Gene and Phineas, or Finny, in John Knowles’ novel A Separate Peace. Throughout the novel, Gene’s trust in Phineas waivers constantly, for no good reason other than his own cynicism and jealousy. He was jealous of Phineas’ athletic ability and charm over the faculty and students at The Devon School. With their relationship, Knowles demonstrates that people’s individual jealousy, insecurities, and perhaps confusion in one’s identity can lead to someone having bitter cynicism. Phineas’ best trait before his injury was his athletic ability. Gene’s worst trait the entire novel was his athletic ability. This caused an intense disparity between the two from Gene’s point of view up until the moment Finny died. The seed of this jealousy came when …show more content…
He attempts to latch on to Phineas’ attitude throughout the novel by wearing his clothes, trying to be athletic, and basically doing everything Phineas asks of him. He grew to idolize him while doing all of this. Gene acted almost as Finny’s dog the way he followed him around. Even after Finny was in the infirmary with his shattered leg, and before he goes to see him, he puts on his clothes and says that he “felt like some nobleman, some Spanish grandee” (62). He thought so highly of Phineas even when he wasn’t his best, which made him inflate his view of Phineas even more, making the disparity between the two even greater in his eyes. Even though it was all in Gene’s head, there was a disparity between the two. It was a disparity between their attitudes towards life. Finny was a positive, charming person while Gene was cynical, jealous, and insecure. Since the novel was in Gene’s perspective, most don’t see his true faults and are too blinded by his attacks on Phineas to realize who the true antagonist

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