"A Separate Peace" by John Knowles.

Essay by hapinachuHigh School, 10th gradeA-, April 2003

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A Separate Peace

(Compare and Contrast Finny and Gene)

Have you ever had a best friend who was the complete the opposite of you? The novel, A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, tells of a pair of best friends who vary quite a bit from one another. Gene's best friend, Finny, is an athletic individual who loves to break the rules while he himself is a law abiding studious person. The two main characters in this novel are similar to and different from each other in many ways.

Finny is the epitome of the good in the human heart. He, unlike Gene, disregards the rules. An example of this is when Finny jumps out of the big tree near the river although it is against the rules. He considers authority the "necessary evil against which happiness was achieved." He also breaks the rules when he wears the Devon School tie as a belt to a traditional term tea.

Finny is also much more of an individual and extrovert than Gene. While others wouldn't dare, Finny wore a pink tee shirt to school as an emblem of celebration that the United States had bombed Central Europe. This also shows us that he is very confident of himself. On the contrary of Gene, Finny is very persuasive and gets out of most of the trouble he gets himself into. As Gene puts it, Finny is "able to get away with anything at all." Unlike most students who wear the Devon School tie as a belt, Finny was able to talk the schoolmaster out of punishing him for that and for missing nine dinners in two weeks. Finny also loves anything athletic and is the best athlete at the school. He is a great football player, swimmer, and blitzball player. He even broke...