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A Separate Peace - Friendship

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Name: Leung Julian Form: 12C Date: 5th November, 2005 A Separate Peace - Friendship A Separate Peace is a story about two youths, Gene and Phineas, growing up at a beautiful boys' boarding school in New England. Set at the background of the World War II, the friendship between them grows as the peace in Devon School diminishes. Gene and Phineas are like two poles of a magnet, opposite yet bound together. Gene is academic, Finny is athletic; Gene is hard worker, Finny is not; Finny is the extroverted leader and Gene is his follower. Gene follows the rules, and Finny breaks them. Their personalities and strengths are different and yet they are inseparable. ""It's you pal," he said, "just you and me." He and I started back across the fields, preceding the others like two seigneurs. We were the best of friends at that moment"" (17). Gene becomes Finny's best friend the moment he jumps out of the tree and crashed into Devon River as a result of Finny's goading. ...read more.


Phineas is an extraordinarily loyal friend to Gene. After the accident, he denies even to himself that Gene had caused it: ""I must have lost my balance. I did have this feeling that when you were standing there beside my, y --- . . . I just fell, that's all . . . I'm sorry for that feeling I had." (66) Later, when Gene admits: "I deliberately jounced the limb so you would fall off," Finny says: "Of course you didn't" (70) and he yells at Gene to stop saying so. Throughout most of the story, Phineas continues to act like it was just an innocent miss happening and he also continues to hold on to Gene as a best friend. An example of how Phineas is an absolute factor in Gene's life is when he keeps Gene from enlisting for the war. Because he is crippled, and couldn't possibly go into combat, Phineas repudiates the war. If Gene had left for war, Phineas would not be able to keep up the illusion that the war is just a sham. ...read more.


After this second fall, Finny reveals bitterness and anger the night Gene visits him in the infirmary. With his leg bound and hindering, he snaps fiercely at Gene, "You want to break something else in me! Is that why you're here!" (184). But being the extraordinary friend that he is, Finny readily forgives Gene. "I believe you. You've already shown me and I believe you" (191). The most important aspect of Gene and Finny's friendship is that each was so much a part of the other. To Finny, Gene has always been an extension of himself. Perhaps that's why it is so easy for him to forgive Gene. Gene realizes that the whole purpose of their friendship is for him the become part of Finny: ""Listen, pal, if I can't play sports, you're going to play them for me," and I lost part of myself to him then, and a soaring sense of freedom revealed that this must have been my purpose from the first: to become a part of Phineas" (85). ...read more.

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