Essay on A Separate Peace and Gene

Submitted By pistolpete45acp
Words: 549
Pages: 3

In the novel a Separate Peace by John Knowles two schoolboys become entangled in each other’s lives. They shield themselves from there problems only to face the grim reality that is the world. What Knowles is trying to say is that this youthful innocence and openness is no longer a positive trait in the world we live in today. The most obvious area where we see this innocence is when Gene tries to tell Phineas that he hurt him. Phineas completely rejects this and refuses to believe that such a thing could ever happen. Gene, trying to explain to Phineas says very plainly “I caused it” referring to Phineas’ accident. Phineas gets aggravated with this and refuses to believe it sending Gene out saying “Go away. I’m tired and you make me sick.” Phineas obviously knows what Gene says is true but refuses to believe it due to his innocence. It is because of this innocence that he can make himself believe that his best friend Gene would ever do such a thing to him.
The next example is when Phineas has to come to grips with the entire situation. There is a war on, he has no use in it and his best friend has hurt him. All of this unravels with an important meeting where many others discuss what was thought only to be just a rumor. Here Leper points out the truth to everyone, even Phineas. Responding to “The one who moved first shook the other one’s balance!”, a statement from a spectator, Leper says “I suppose so.” It is at this point that Phineas must realize what Gene did and that it happened. He can no longer pretend it would never have happened. At this point Phineas had to let go of his innocence and come to this shocking realization.
The final example is when Phineas has to realize that he will have no part whatsoever in the war. Up to this point Phineas had been writing to various people