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A Separate Peace Essay

Essay by 24  •  October 2, 2010  •  750 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,169 Views

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In the novel A Separate Peace, there are four main characters that embody the four main parts of society. Gene represents the evil or hell, Brinker Handley represents the government, Leper represents nature, and Finny, represents the good or Christ. I have noticed that all of the characters in this novel have been given a last name. However, there is one exception. Finny (Phineas) was never given a last name. He has always just been Finny. Strikingly, like Christ, Finny neither has nor needs a last name. Whenever Finny is addressed in the book, it is identical to "Finny, I tried to tell you before..." (Knowles 189).

Finny, has never had to make an effort to do anything. Everything he does just comes to him and he normally is the best at everything. "You always win at sports...when you played a game you won...it inevitably flowed" (Knowles 35). This shows that everything comes natural to him. Things that people have to work for, he just wakes up and decides to do them. "I have a feeling I can swim faster than A. Hopkins Parker [the school record holder]," (Knowles 43). The most noteworthy part of all was that he didn't feel the need to showboat. He beat the swimming record, yet made Gene promise that he would never tell anyone about it, "... I just wanted to see if I could do it. Now I know. But I don't want to do it in public... this is just between you and me," (Knowles 44). All of this information supports that Finny represents the good/Christ-like part of humanity.

Another remarkable thing about Finny is that he cannot get into trouble. It is almost as if you are playing a game and you put the God-mode cheat on so you could go about your life with impunity. Finny got in trouble for skipping nine meals in two weeks and Mr. Prud'homme was getting ready to reprimand Finny. However, Finny was able to just smooth talk his was out of danger (Knowles 22). Any other student in the entire school could face up to expulsion and Finny was able to talk his way out of it and not get in trouble at all. In another instance, Finny wore the school tie on his waist for a belt. This of course, is disrespectful to the school and is a recipe for expulsion. "This time he wasn't going to get away with it," Gene had exclaimed. However, after talking with Mr. Patch-Withers, he was able to talk his way out of another predicament, unscathed (Knowles 28).

When you talk about Finny, one of the words that come to mind is intrepid.

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