A Separate Peace
“ plus c’est la meme chose, plus ҫa change.” Nothing endures, not a tree, not love, not even a death by violence. -A Separate Peace
Gene and Phineas Are the Best of Friends, but With Opposite Personalities
Gene, the student, the guy everyone asks to help on last night’s homework and Phineas, the athlete, the guy who is always picked first. The one thing they share: being students at the Devon School.
They say opposites attract, but as they attract, they often slam together. Take the opposite ends of two magnets and place them near each other. What do they do? They don’t just touch, they crash into each other, and the only thing stopping them is the opposite end of the magnet. The same applies to humans of opposite personalities. This is precisely what occurred between Gene and Phineas
The Roots of Jealousy
We always want what we don’t have, as it is impossible to want what we already have. Jealousy is simply wanting what someone else has, even if you are successful with what you've got. This is what Gene experienced. He found himself hating Phineas for being able to break rules without being punished. He hated him because he was jealous of him, and soon he began is distrust him and blame him for his failing grades. We all have one thing we are proud of, and when we lose that one thing, we start making rash decisions.
Everyone has regrets, and Gene’s regret was formed from a rash decision. He did what he did, but could never accept it. Phineas took from him, so he took from Phineas. He was jealous and he acted out. In the end he got what he wanted, but not in the way he wanted to get it.
In the End, Gene and Phineas Made up, but Not in the Way That You Would Think
Accepting what he did was the hardest for Gene. He did what everyone has done before; told yourself lies to justify your actions into being okay. He accepted his choices, and did what Phineas would have never wanted him to do: he joined the war. Strangely enough, Gene found peace within the war, doing the opposite of what Phineas would have, finally hitting the opposite side of the magnet and coming to rest. He found his peace in the opposites of Phineas, coming around in a full circle.