Theme Of Identity In John Knowles 'A Separate Peace'

Words: 1136
Pages: 5

John Knowles’s A Separate Peace, shows us that identity is a key component in knowing who one is and how they interact with others in order to create strong relationships. Acknowledging one’s true identity and accepting it can be hard for some. In this novel, Phineas (Finny) and Gene, struggle with accepting their genuine identities and how they must conform who they really are in order to maintain a relationship as best friends. Gene struggles to accept his true identity because he constantly lives in the shadow of his best friend, Finny, which leads to holes in their partnership as friends. He doesn’t know who he really is as a person because Phineas is always in the spotlight, restricting Gene from flourishing into an independent young man. This is harmful to Gene and Finny’s friendship because Gene constantly feels the need to impress Finny, which causes harmful competition. Gene doesn’t believe that his true self is good enough for Phineas, thus preventing a solid relationship between the two of them. Just like everyone else at Devon …show more content…
It was a serious injury,” one of his legs had been shattered”(61). Before he got hurt, Finny overpowered Gene in many ways. He was overall seen as “better than Gene”. One of the reasons he was seen as superior to Gene was because of his phenomenal athletic skills. He was outstanding at every sport he played without even giving an effort. All of this changed when Finny broke his leg. What made him better than Gene was no longer was a part of who he was. Finny was confused about who he really was because without being able to play sports, he felt like a nobody. His confidence deteriorated and he grappled with finding who he was without sports. He didn’t feel as popular and loved as he was before he got hurt. This humbled