Gene And Phineas Character Traits

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In this book A Separate Peace by John Knowles, the personalities of the characters Gene and Phineas are greatly changed throughout the story.For a friendship to be “true” there must be shared loyalty,respect,trust, and honesty or it will ultimately fall apart.Gene and Phineas in this book develop traits such as honesty and trust but that is ruined by Gene purposely making Phineas fall out of the tree. Gene was worried that Phineas was to much competition for him to deal with. He was so paranoid about his future and outcome at the school that he was willing to jeopardize his friendship with Phineas and even Phineas’ life. The level of maturity of both characters “grows” as their destructive friendship starts to weaken throughout the story. …show more content…
Phineas is an athletic, charismatic, naive, and sheltered teen who relies on people to follow him in life. He want’s Gene to do things that he does and sometimes pressures him into doing things. An example of when Finny pressures Gene into trying to do something is when Phineas said, “Listen, pal, if I can’t play sports, you’re going to play them for me,” and I lost part of myself to him then, and a soaring sense of freedom revealed that this must have been my purpose from the first: to become a part of Phineas. Gene felt pressured into doing what Phineas wanted because he felt guilty about ending Phineas’ athletic career completely. Gene was a paranoid, selfish. jealous, and intelligent teen at the Devon Academy where he attended high school with Phineas. He felt that he was being challenged in their friendship and tried to eliminate the competition by making Phineas fall out of a tree near the river. Phineas was effected in the aspect that he was no longer able to play sports or enlist like many of the other boys at the Devon Academy. Phineas became so paranoid about the war and about the competition with Phineas that he ended up ruining their friendship and then had to deal with regret for the rest of his life. Gene needed to have a friendship with someone such as Phineas because he was desperate for attention. Phineas needed to have somebody follow him so that he could be a “leader” of them. Some people would say that opposites attract but in this story they were so different from each other(foil characters) that in one way or another ruined a part of the other friends life.

I believe that in this story both Gene and Phineas would not be able to function/survive in society. Gene was so paranoid and selfish that later in life he would have had other friendships that could have had a similar outcome to his relationship with

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