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A separate peace

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A separate peace

A Separate Peace Topic A

The theme suggested in the closing paragraph of the novel A Separate Peace is that people create their own enemy and then they defend themselves laboriously and obsessively against their imaginary enemy. They develop a particular frame of mind in

order to allay the fear that arises while facing their nonexistent enemy. In the novel, the protagonist, Gene, tries to fight a war with his best friend, Finny, not realizing that the enemy he sees is not Finny but is his own insecurity.

At the beginning Gene believes that Finny is actually his enemy who is trying to sabotage him. Gene thinks that Finny envies his academic ability just as he envies Finny's extraordinary athletic ability. That way he feels better; he lowers Finny to his

evel so that they are "even, even in enmity.? Gene's attitude toward Finny is a manifestation of his jealousy and lack of self-confidence. Finny, on the other hand is extremely confident. He never had the evil thoughts about destroying Gene's grades; he

s too innocent to have such thought. Furthermore, Finny being a carefree person does not even care about his own grades, certainly not Gene's grades. Gene does not realize this, perhaps he simply does not want to admit the truth. He has created an enemy

o protect himself from acknowledging that he is not completely satisfied with his character, or lack of character and individuality.

Gene soon realizes that Finny is not trying to be his rival. However, this realization only makes Gene angrier with Finny. He is irritated at the notion that he is "not of the same quality as Finny,? thus he cannot possibly compete with Finny. At this

int Gene already knows that his enemy is not Finny, but he is not yet mature enough to see who his true enemy is. In his subconscious mind, he wants to destroy Finny, or at least bring Finny down to his level. He fulfills this desire by jouncing the sam

tree from which he had almost fallen one time but Finny saved his life by reaching out and grabbing him. This time, ...

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