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A Separate Piece Novel Review

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Dealing with your enemies has been a problem since the beginning of time.  The novel A Separate Piece is about best friends, Finny and Gene’s lives in their boarding school Devon. Both boys’ lives drastically change after gene supposedly jounces a limb of a tree and causes finny to fall and badly break his leg. Gene is responsible for Finny’s death because he purposely jounced the limb out of jealousy and rivalry towards Finny. If finny had not jounced the limb in the first place, then the events leading up to his death would have never happened.

        Finny was the kind of person who never did anything bad to anyone. He was a fun, carefree kind of person. He even saves gene from falling out of the tree and possibly hurting himself.  Finny had a great athletic ability, and even rivaled with his best friend gene, which was good in his studies, and schoolwork. The rivalry between the boys caused the two to grow apart from each other. Gene then begins to suspect Finny of sabotaging his studies, and becomes engulfed in his own jealousy and anger. Gene shows his jealousy by saying “I was beginning to see that Phineas could get away with anything. I couldn’t help envying him a little, which was perfectly normal. There was no harm in envying even your best friend a little.” (A Separate Piece page 18) He also says to Finny “Ok, we go. We watch little lily-liver Lepelier not jump from the tree, and I ruin my grade.” (A Separate Peace page 57) Gene soon realizes that there was never any rivalry between them, and it was all in his head. Finny didn’t care what gene did and wasn’t trying to sabotage his grades. Still jealous of Finny’s athletic ability gene still jounces the limb, and hurting Finny’s leg. Finny never did anything to hurt gene it was all genes fault because he let his jealousy take over and ended up hurting his best friend.

        Immediately after Finny’s incident gene becomes extremely guilty and sometimes even depressed. Gene had to have done something if he was so depressed. Gene shows his feelings of guilt in a variety of ways. He does things like dressing up like Finnys and he also cries when Dr. Stanpole tells Gene Finny will not be able to participate in any more sports.  He also does things like play sports and try out for the Olympics because of Finny’s inability to do so.  Gene knows it’s his fault Finny can’t play sports, and his fault that Finny eventually dies.  



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