Why Do Gene And Phineas Become Inhumane

970 Words 4 Pages
In A Separate Peace, author John Knowles shows the inescapable consequences and effects the microcosmic war at Devon School has on the students. Gene Forrester becomes hostile and paranoid as he struggles to identify himself, Brinker Hadley also becomes hostile, but for reasons that are unidentified in the novel.
Phineas is physically affected due to Gene’s jealousy, while Leper Lepellier is mentally affected from enlisting in World War II. Through these characters, Knowles describes man’s capability of hostility. The boys’ feelings of envy, jealousy, frustration and their fear of the unknown create a rivalry between the students, proving that too much negativity within human nature inevitably causes man to become inhumane. As Gene and Phineas begin to establish a close friendship, Gene secretly develops a strong sense of jealousy towards Phineas, which leads to a life-changing incident. Gene develops this envy towards Phineas because of their differences. Gene is a serious scholar, while Phineas is an athletically
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Brinker constantly jokes about the incident at the tree and blames Gene for Phineas’ injury. Gene reveals his guilt to Brinker in the Butt Room, when he leaves before he even smokes. Brinker and his friends then set up a mock trial to reveal the truth to Phineas, who has been refusing to face reality about the fall. Brinker’s desire for power over the boys takes over him, which causes him to set up a mock trial. Gene states “Brinker’s voice was full of authority and perfectly under control [...] he’s enjoying this” (168). Brinker is not attending Devon when the incident occurs, yet he feels the need to expose Phineas to the truth. This trial does not benefit any individual involved. In fact, it leads to innocent Phineas’ death because he cannot handle all the evil that is present in the world. Brinker clearly enjoys chaos and

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