Separate Peace

Dealing with enemies has been a problem ever since the beginning of time. In A

Separate Peace by John Knowels, the value of dealing with your feelings and
dealing with your enemies is shown by Gene Forester, a student in Devon during

World War 2 dealing with few human enemies, but his emotions create a nemesis
far greater than any human enemy. "I never killed anybody," Gene had
commented later in his adulthood, "And I never developed an intense level
of hatred for the enemy. Because my war ended before I ever put on a uniform; I
was on active duty all my time at Devon; I killed my enemy there." Now
about the enemies that Gene had put into his own life. Gene had a best friend,
his name was Finny, they were roommates and did many activities together. Finny
was never the source, but the core of most of Gene's feelings, both good and
bad. First, one of the biggest problems that Gene had, that is jealousy. Gene
was jealous of Finny's confidency, openness, modesty, superb athletic abilities,
his natural leadership skills, his ability to deal with stress easily, his care
free attitude, his people skills and, of course, his good looks. Early in the
story Finny demonstrated his openness by when asked for his height, he said 5
foot, 8Ѕ inches, while Gene replies 5 foot, 9 inches. Finny pointed out
that they were the same height and you shouldn't be ashamed to tell anybody your
real height. Later that day, they skip dinner to go swimming in the river, by

Finny's choice, and are asked where they were on return. Finny quickly replied
that they were swimming in the river, something that is forbidden, right down to
the last detail, and they got away with it. Gene said that the rules are very
bent during the summer session, but it was actually Finny's people skills that
had kept them out of trouble. Finny was very bold, as Gene many a time wished he
was, on one occasion Finny wore a bright pink shirt "symbolizing the first

U.S. bombing in Europe. Gene called him a "faerie" but really envied
him. Later Finny wore the school tie as a belt and when questioned he claimed
that it represented "Devon in the war." Gene was hopeingly awaiting a
scolding for Finny, but again, he got in no trouble. Another day the two were
walking and came across a plaque near the pool claiming that A. Hopkins Parker
held the record for swimming across the pool the fastest, Finny took one look at
and thought he could beat it, so without any practice at all he plunged into the
pool, Gene timed him and he beat it, just like that. Gene wanted to get an
official scorekeeper so Finny could get a plaque but Finny said "no, in my
head I know that I did it, that's all that matters," thus demonstrating
that Finny is very modest and secure. The next day Gene and Finny went to the
beach, which wasn't allowed. This was done at Finny's request, Gene was going to
study for a test, but he felt that he can't say no to Finny so hey went. At the
beach Gene noticed a lot of people looking at them, he knew they were looking at

Finny because of his well built body and his golden tan but Finny said that they
were looking at Gene. Before they return, Finny calls Gene his "best
pal" and Gene wanted to reply, but he wasn't sure about it himself and he
also has a hard time expressing his true feelings. That was his first enemy, now
the next, anger. Gene's anger isn't too bad alone but when jealousy and anger
are lurking in the same domain, they prove to be a deadly combination. Gene was
angry about such things as Finny's ability not to get in trouble, and Gene's
unwillingness to say "no" to Finny, but the real war started when he
got the idea that because Finny has low grades, he wanted to lower Gene's grades
as well so he will better than Gene. Gene believed that Finny was trying to
wreak his studies with games, an organization they had formed-the Secret Suicide

Society, going to the beach and all this "you're my best friend
stuff." Other than that, there is little anger between Finny and Gene. One
day, Finny wanted Gene to come jump off a high limb into the river with him, as
they