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Word Count: 596
Gene Forresters self realization and self discovery is the main theme of A Separate Peace by John Knowles This process begins when he pushes his best friend Phineas from a tree and it continues until he visits this tree fifteen years later Gene must learn to face reality and the future confront his problems as well as forgive and accept what he has done With the jouncing of the limb Gene realizes his problems and the true person he is inside He then tries to understand who he really is When revisiting the tree as an adult he finally is able to accept and forgives himself This process is a long and painful one and when it is over Gene emerges a mature adult Genes journey to self discovery begins when he compares himself to Finny and falls short Gene constantly compares himself to Finny and it seems as if the only thing that Gene is better at than Finny is his studies Gene comes to believe that Finny is trying to wreck his studies However when he is in the tree before the two friends are about to make their double-jump Gene sees Finny a new light He realizes that Finny feels no jealousy or hatred towards him and that Finny is indeed perfect in every way Gene becomes aware that only he is the jealous one He learns that he really is a savage underneath Over a long period of time Gene had been denying his feelings of hatred towards Finny saying that it was normal for him to feel this way Now all of these feelings come back to him and he sees how terrible he really is The realization that these feelings are one-sided causes Gene to fall in comparison to Finny concludes with the necessity for Finny to be brought down to his level and results with Gene impulsively jouncing the limb causing Finnys fall When Gene realizes the true
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