An Essay on a Separate Peace
Author Knowles discusses how Gene s savageness influences his behavior throughout the story.
The first time the author depicts Gene s beast like mind is when Gene knocks Finny out of a tree (p.61). When Finny tries to jump out of the tree, Gene s knees bed to the limb and jounced and it makes Finny fall from the tree. This is virtually the starting of the whole story because this incident motivates Gene to become more positive. Also, on the other hand, the reader can understand how much Gene hates Finny in his deepest thoughts. Gene feels that he is not good a person as Finny (p.59). This instills both seeds of growth and hope to Gene. Also angers him more that he cannot be like Finny. As a result, the main character achieves a hope to become positive which is small at the time but influences Gene in time to ultimately give Gene a new outlook.
The author depicts another example of Gene s savageness when Gene knocks Leper out of the chair. While Gene and Leper are talking, Leper mentions that Gene knocked Finny out of the tree, and it makes Gene knock Leper out of his chair(p.145). It shows that Gene is still controlled by evil in his mind despite having attained positive seeds of hope from the Finny s incident. This time however, Gene does not even try to defend himself but allows the reader to interpret this. The reason Gene attacks Leper is that he call Gene savage and said Gene crippled Finny s life(p.145). It seems that Gene starts to feel more guilty when Leper mentions that Gene has virtually ruined Finny s life. In Gene s mind, he freely admits that he has practically crippled Finny s life but he really does not wanted someone else tell to that truth. The reader can find that Gene is still under the control of an evil mind but also can find that Gene s feels guilty toward Finny, which is a sign of hope.
The author indicates that Gene s mind starts to grow through Gene s use of only speech when he gets angry. At the end of chapter 10, Gene says …..shut up! I don t care… I don t give a damn! to Leper (p.151). It looks like he felt that he should use his savageness to stop Leper s talking. As Leper and Gene sought to escape individually from war and Leper s sorrow, respectively, it is human nature to avoid sorrow. This makes Gene use his savageness as Leper talks about the truth of the war and Gene does not want to listen to it(p.150). It seems as if Gene does not want to believe the truth about the war. Before, Gene would have attacked Leper in this situation, but now he chooses speech, which can be accepted as a sign of Gene s growth. This marks the path of Gene s ongoing journey towards maturity.