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Word Count: 1,287
What comes to mind when the word innocence is brought up Does it conjure images of carefree boys playing together in a game they concocted themselves Would one think of best friends laying upon a beach and watching a sunset together their hearts devoid of malice and ill intent The pictures the mind paints when people speak of innocence are singular to the person imagining If one can pinpoint innocence to a few images what happens when those images are shattered as if they were a spiteful mirror Innocence could be called a mirror of illusions We see what is there and added in to the background are the serene and peaceful selfless scenes of youth In A Separate Peace the broken shards of this mirror litter the ground that the characters tread upon Gene seems a blameless enough protagonist Striving for success at school through his academics and fitting in to a group of friends easily who would think him to intentionally cripple the boy he calls his best friend Reading the words Holding firmly to the trunk I took a step toward him and then my knees bent and a I jounced the limb breaks the fragile sense of Genes naivete to the reader completelyGene says to himself You and Phineas are even already You are even in enmity You are both coldly driving ahead for yourselves alone What can be said about Genes mentality Hes so blinded by his misjudgments of Finnys motives that he lets his innocence slip away into a puddle of hate and malice for his best friend His harmlessness drowns when he realizes after jouncing Finny off the limb to crash into the riverbank he has a strong capacity for violence and destructiveness No
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