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The Increasing Hostility Between Two Friends Before

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Gene feels increasing hostility toward Finny before his fall from the

tree. In the novel A SEPARATE PEACE by John Knowles, the hostility

between Gene and Finny increase because of the competition inside of them

both to be better then one another. It is about the increasing competition

between Gene and Finny and the hostility it brings. The hostility finally burst

inside Gene and for one instant it takes over. It makes him do something he

will always regret. Gene's increasing hostility towards Finny finally brings

the down fall of their friendship.

Gene's first form of hostility toward Finny was the realization that

Finny could get away with anything. First instance was when Finny was

wearing his emblem, the pink button-down shirt, and Mr. Patch-Withers

came up to him. Mr. Patch-Withers ask him about the shirt and Finny told

him the meaning of the shirt. As he explained the substitute headmaster

became more amused about the situation and allowed Finny to get away

with breaking the school dress code. After this instance Gene admitted to

being envious of Finny in this Quote, "I was beginning to see that Phineas

could get away with anything. I couldn't help envying him that a little,

which is perfectly normal. There was no harm in envying your best friend

a little." (18) In this quote Gene is just saying that he envies his best

friend for some thing that he can't do. This situation is the first of many

forms of hostility towards Finny that brings about the incident in the tree.

At the Patch-Withers party anther sign of Gene's increasing envy towards

Finny is shown. This happens when Finny again gets away with breaking

the dress code. At the party when discussing the bombing of Europe, Mr.

Patch-Withers discovers that Finny is wearing the school tie with his pink

shirt. With some quick anecdotes about how his shirt is a contribution to

the war effort and also be glad he wore a belt because his pants could fall

down. With these quick anecdotes Finny got away with it, gave Mr.

Patch-Withers a good laugh and enraged Gene's envy towards Finny.

Gene gave this quote about the instance, "He (Finny) had gotten away

with everything. I felt a sudden stab of disappointment........" (21) Gene

really does not know what he is feeling he says, but deep down it is his

growing envy towards Finny and how he is better at getting away with

things. Gene has growing feelings of envy towards his best friend and

how he can get away with things that most other people cannot get away


Gene's envy increases to resentment of Finny making him do things

he does not want to do. The first resentment is when Finny manipulates

Gene into jumping out of the tree and into the water. The only reason he

resents this is that it was Fine's fault he was up in the tree. "I (Gene)

wouldn't have been on that darn limb except for him. I wouldn't have

turned around ' and so I lost my balance, if he hadn't been there." (25)

Gene blames Finny for him almost falling even though it wasn't really

Finny's fault. Gene is so envious of Finny that he does not want Finny to

be one step better then him for saving his life. He twists the truth to make

it seem like it was Finny's fault for him almost falling. Gene also resents

the fact that Finny made up Blitzball around his physical abilities. Finny

adapted the game to his own physical abilities so he could excel at it. It

made a game of strength, endurance, and speed just what Finny's abilities

were. "Right from the start it was clear that no one had ever been better




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