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Word Count: 727
An analysis of the rivalry of Phineas and Gene From the novel A Separate Peace by John Knowles Phineas world was a very beautiful thing to him A world where war was a work of art painted so perfectly in his mind He was full of views and ideas that were perfect in subject but realistically unachievable Gene was a Smart intelligent boy Every thing was completely real to him School was very important When he played sports someone always lost nobody always won in his mind Gene in his realism was somewhat drawn to Finny though almost like he envied his idealistic theories In the early pages of A Separate Peace Finny confesses that Gene is his best friend It is considered a courageous act for the students at Devon to expose emotion And rather than Gene venturing back with similar affection he holds back and says nothing Gene cant handle the fact that Finny is so compassionate so perfect In order to protect himself from accepting Finnys compassion and risking emotional pain Gene creates a silent rivalry with Finny convincing himself that Finny is deliberately attempting to ruin his studies Gene decides that the two are jealous of each other After that there friendship starts to turn somewhat cold Gene becomes disgusted with himself after weeks of the silent rivalry He finally discovers the truth that Finny only wants the best for Gene and had no unfavorable intentions This creates a huge conflict for Gene not being able to deal with Finnys purity and his own darkness On this very day Finny wants to jump off of the tree branch into the Devon river at the same time as Gene a double jump he says as a way of bonding It was this decision caused by Finnys affection for Gene and outgoing ways that resulted in drastic change for the rest of his life Once up on the
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