A Separate Piece: Jealousy

Words: 1030
Pages: 5

A Separate Piece by John Knowles, tells the story of internal struggles between two best friends. The story takes place during World War ll and both characters fear the unknown, however the internal struggle turned out to be more dangerous than the war itself. They both attend Devon Academy during the summer session, the issue of jealousy arises and threatens to tear Finny and Gene apart. Jealousy is what causes the internal struggle between the two, Finny excels in athletics much to the despair of Gene who does not play sports, but instead he excels in academics. Gene struggles with his feelings of jealousy towards Finny and he feels guilty for feeling that way when Finny has been nothing but a supportive friend. Guilt, jealousy, and fear …show more content…
War was an occurring theme in their lives and was formidable by most. At the end of A Separate Peace Gene reflects on his past at Devon Academy where he, “fell into step as well as [his] nature, Phineas-filled, would allow,” (Page: 196). The memories of his time at Devon surfaced to the fore front of his mind along with his ever present guilt. The fear of war and impairing themselves was ever so present in his school days, but as Gene reflects on his past he comes to the conclusion that he, “never killed anybody and [he] never developed an intense level of hatred for the enemy. Because [his] war ended before [he] ever put on a uniform; [he] was on active duty all [his] time at school; [he] killed [his] enemy there. Only Phineas never was afraid, only Phineas never hated anyone,” (Page: 196). Gene carried the guilt of what happened at Devon with him, “the more things remains the same, the more they change after all. Nothing endured, not a tree, not love, not even death by violence,” (Page: 6). While the demeanor of the school stayed the same, he himself changed. Nothing is as simple as the days spent by the river for guilt lurks in the background waiting to pronounce. He feels as if by forgiving himself for what happened at Devon it's almost as if