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A Separate Peace

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A Separate Peace - Gene's Journey

Gene Forrester’s in the novel A Separate Pace had a difficult

journey towards maturity and the adult world is a main focus of the novel, A

Separate Peace, by John Knowles. Gene's journey begins the moment he pushes

Phineas from the tree and the process continues until he had visited the tree

fifteen years later after he jerked it when Finny fell and broke his leg.

Throughout this time, Gene had to become more self-centered and face reality

and the future, confront his problems, as well as forgive and accept the person

that he is. With the jerking of the limb, Gene realizes his problems and the true

person he was inside. Then fifteen years later, when he had revisited the tree, he

finally accepts and forgives himself. This journey was a long and painful one. At

the end of this long and winding road filled with ditches, difficulties and

Gene jerks the limb while Finny is getting ready to jumb and

causes Finny's fall and at that moment becomes aware of his inner-self and

learns of his true feelings. This discovery came to him back in his room before he

and Finny leave for the tree. It surrounds him with the shock of his true self

until he finally reacts by jerking the limb. Up in the tree, before the two friends

are about to make their "double-jump," Gene sees Finny in this new light. He

realizes that Finny feels no jealousy or hatred towards him and that Finny is

indeed is perfect in every way. Gene becomes aware that only he is the jealous

one. He learns of his animosity and that he really is a "savage underneath." Over

a long period of time Gene had been denying his feelings of hatred towards

Finny, saying that it was normal for him to feel this way. Now all of the feelings

come back to him and he sees how terrible he really is. The awareness that these

feelings are one-sided causes Gene to jerk the l...

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