Gene with Envy

by Emma Honkola

 

Although Gene and Phineas are very good friends, Gene also seems to be a bit envious of Finny, even though he is trying to suppress it. Finny is able to talk his way out of trouble, something that Gene is reported to be very jealous of. During the scene where Finny is caught wearing the school tie as a belt and is able to talk himself out of trouble, Gene said “He had gotten away with everything. I felt a sudden stab of disappointment. That was because I just wanted to see some more excitement; that must have been it.”(pg 21.) I believe that the ‘disappointment’ that Gene feels actually stems off of his envy- he wasn’t disappointed that Finny got away with everything because he wanted to see more, but because he wanted Finny to not get away with everything, because he knew that if he was in that situation that he would not have been able to sway the adults as well. In addition to this, when Gene says ‘that must have been it’, it almost feels like he is trying to convince himself that what he was feeling wasn’t envy, instead it was disappointment at the lack of excitement. He must have felt guilty because Finny is his friend and one is not supposed to feel envious of their friends or wish trouble upon them.

Another area where Gene feels envious of Finny is in Finny’s talent. Along with his talent with the adults, Finny also excels at sports and at making people (of his own age group) like him. After Finny invents blitzball, and naturally excels at it, Gene was pondering on why he was so good. He thinks “It was good that Finny could shine at it. He could also shine at many other things, with people for instance, the others in our dormitory, the faculty; in fact, if you stopped to think about it, Finny could shine with everyone, he attracted everyone he met. I was glad of that too. Naturally. He was my roommate and my best friend.” (pg. 32) I know that this doesn’t exactly sound like someone who is green with envy would say, but I think that this is Gene, again, trying to convince himself that he is not envious. The way that he listed off the things that Finny was good at, before quickly stating that he was glad at it, sounds like someone who is trying to remind himself of the fact. He said “Naturally.” like he recognized that friends and roommates were not supposed to feel envious of one another and so was trying to prove to himself that because they were friends that his jealousy was not possible.

In the future of this book I would like to see how Gene’s envy of Finny grows. Will it increase until he is forced to acknowledge it, or will the roles be reversed and instead they are put in a position where Finny is the one envious of Gene. Whatever the case, I am sure it will be an interesting development.

Image result for a separate peace finny

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