Friendship and its Dangers
In John Knowle’s book, A Separate Peace, there are many themes depicted. One of the more obvious themes in the book is friendship. John Knowles shows us how some friendships can be dangerous through the combination of jealousy, betrayal, and trust. John uses two characters, Gene and Finny, to demonstrate how a combination of jealousy, betrayal, and trust affects a relationship.
1) In A Separate Peace, Gene’s jealousness of Finny leads to his betrayal of Finny.
a. Gene felt unequal to Finny so he tried to become equal with him by excelling in academics.
b. Gene began to realize that Finny was trying to draw him away from his studies by planning all sorts of activities for him and Gene to do.
i. To stop this, Gene began to stop going to the activities that Finny had planned and began to study even more.
4 Gene began to excel even more in academics because of this.
ii. Gene then thinks that Finny is jealous of him for being great in academics.
4 This makes Gene feel like he has always been superior to Finny, because while Finny was horrible academically, Gene was still a pretty good athlete.
c. Finny explains that he always thought that people didn’t have to work for the things they were good at, and that they came without effort.
i. Now Gene realizes that he was never equal with Finny and never will be.
4 Jealousy once again overcomes Gene and makes him angry.
d. The jealousness Gene had towards Finny led to Gene betraying Finny by making him fall out of the tree causing him to break his leg and consequently ending Finny’s ability to play sports for life.
1) Gene’s betrayal of Finny and the trust that Finny had in Gene ultimately led to Finny’s death.
2) Finny regarded Gene to be his best friend, and he trusted him up until he died.
a. Finny trusted Gene so much, that when Gene admitted to purposely trying to make him fall out of the tree, he couldn’t fathom...