The Theme Of Friendship In A Separate Peace By John Knowles

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Friendship is a large part of many people’s life. It can bring you some of the best times of your life and lots of fun. Although it may seem all rainbows and butterflies, it can also bring many hardships. John Knowles focuses his novel on the friendship of two boys, Gene and Finny. Gene flashes back into his time in Devon to understand his friendship with Finny and reconcile with it. Gene and Finny are a prime example of how friendships are always cheerful. The theme of friendship is significant in A Separate Peace because it emphasizes the jealousy between Gene and Finny, it shows how friendship is forced to change overtime, and it makes the boys show who they truly are.

Jealousy between Gene and Finny almost separates them at times.
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It leaves you feeling immobilized in the present by something that has already occurred and may have occurred many years ago. At moments in John Knowles novel, it seems as if Gene is so overwhelmed with guilt he cannot continue.“I did not cry then or ever about Finny. I did not cry even when I stood watching him being lowered into his family’s strait-laced burial ground outside of Boston. I could not escape a feeling that this was my own funeral, and you do not cry in that case” (Knowles 194). Gene’s feeling of guilt causes him to go completely numb. When he know he causes Finny’s death, he wanted to be dead.“I spent as much time as I could in our room, trying to empty my mind of every thought. To forget where I was, or who I was” (Knowles, 62). Gene feels he almost can’t bear the guilt. He tries to flush himself of his past so he doesn’t have to remember it. John Knowles incorporates guilt into this novel. This adds a sense of realness and relatability. Guilt is a key hardship that flows through Gene and he tries to deal with it in anyway he …show more content…
Many people show their true character in their deepest of problems, such as fights or emotional situations. Gene and Finny both mature mentally throughout the novel. “I did not know everything there was to know about myself, and knew that I did not know it” (Knowles 127). Gene has troubles with his identity throughout the novel. He doesn’t know who he is and the hardest part of this is that he understands that he doesn’t. This causes Gene to want to be a different person, like when he is jealous of Finny. “I felt him turning to look at me, and so I looked up. He had a particular expression which his face assumed when he understood but didn’t think he should show it, a settled, enlightened look; its appearance now was the first decent titling I had seen in a long time” (Knowles 189). When Finny confesses to Gene that he does believe the war is real it is like he released a heavy load of his chest. Finny says that he only said the war was fake because he knew he couldn’t join it. Finny really grows mentally from this section and learns more about himself and becomes enlightened. Through hardships we learn things about ourselves, both Gene and Finny grew through troubling

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