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The Value of Dealing with Enemies

The issue of dealing with enemies is discussed in the novel “A Separate Peace” by John Knowles. Gene Forrester, the main character of the story, learns the value of dealing with rivals through the relationship with Finny - his best friend and roommate at Devon school. The enemies Gene interacts with are internal rather than external ones, even though action takes place during World War II. What he has to analyze, understand and fight are his own emotions, such as jealousy and anger. This encounter turns out to be even harder than the actual fight with the enemy at war.

Gene’s jealousy is revealed when he observes Finny’s openness and courage. These are the qualities he really envies and would like to possess himself. Finny is open and free in expressing his views. Once he wore a pink shirt in order to draw attention to the first American bombing in Europe. Gene could never be this brave and told Finny that he was out of his mind. However, deeply in his heart he craved to be able to do the same. The incident with Finny’s wearing a tie instead of a belt was another one when Gene felt jealousy. Finny was quick to come up with the explanation of his extravagant behavior – he simply said that the tie was representing the role of their school, Devon, in the War. This let Finny avoid punishment and increased jealousy in Gene’s heart.

Anger was another enemy Gene was dealing with. He believed that it was Finny’s goal to make his grades worse by distracting him from studies. He thought that Finny created the Secret Suicide Society and invited Gene to play games with a treacherous aim to make him a worse student. Later he found out that it was not true, and this made him even more jealous, because he envied Finny’s perfection. The mixture of these feelings led Gene to shake the limb the boys were jumping off, and this caused Finny to fall down and break his leg.

Finny’s modesty was another feature Gene was jealous about. He understood that they were of the same height and Finny did not worry about that. Gene felt that Finny did not have the spirit of rivalry, like he did, and this purity of Finny’s made Gene angry and jealous. He had a feeling that Finny was a much better person than himself.

Even though Gene eventually admits his envy towards Finny to his face and is forgiven by him, their relationship ends tragically. Finny’s death becomes the value paid for Gene’s fight with his internal enemies. Only after his friend’s death Gene changes and clears his heart from hatred, jealousy and anger.

The issue of dealing with enemies is discussed in the novel “A Separate Peace” by John Knowles. Gene Forrester, the main character of the story, learns the value of dealing with rivals through the relationship with Finny - his best friend and roommate at Devon school. The enemies Gene interacts with are internal rather than external ones, even though action takes place during World War II.

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Assignment ID
100002279
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CREATED ON
October 19, 2016
COMPLETED ON
October 20, 2016
Price
$30
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