After reading Chapter 10 of A Separate Peace, check out this interesting interpretation of the scene between Gene and Leper.
Please comment on this interpretation below!
"What I mean is, I love winter, and when you really love something, then it loves you back, in whatever way it has to love" (Knowles 111).
Chapters 7 and 8 are interesting because of the emotional roller coaster that Gene experiences. He continues to feel deeply affected by the incident with Finny, and then he decides he wants to start a fresh by going into the army, then he changes his mind because Finny has return to Devon. One would think that the fall would have driven a wedge between the two; instead, the fall has resulted in a tightening of the strange bond between the two so called friends. How is it possible you ask? First, Finny does seem to possess a genuine love for Gene, and, because they're friends, it doesn't occur to him that Gene might not love him back or reciprocate the friendship. (Kids.... I'm talking a purely platonic love here!) It is important to remember that Finny assumes that other people approach the world in the same way that he does. Just look at the conversation he and Gene had about studying! Simply put, Finny assumes that love is always reciprocated. The other side to all of this is a bit darker- we have already seen evidence of Gene’s eagerness to lose himself in Finny, to give up his identity and live as a part of his friend but now, in Finny’s enthusiasm to train Gene in athletics, we observe how Finny, too, contributes to this process, welcoming this sacrifice on Gene’s part. He is allowing Gene to become him; he is vicariously living his dreams through him.
We're moving forward with A Separate Peace. I hope you enjoy the bit of the movie we are able to see thus far. I feel that allowing you to see what is happening in conjunction with reading it, really helps to meld the story into something truly amazing!
When we left last week, we see Gene making a bit of a transformation. I know many of you were awestruck (or even creeped out) with him putting on Gene's pink shirt. The more I go back and read it, the better I understand exactly what is happening...by putting on Finny’s clothes and mimicking Finny’s expressions in the mirror, Gene has blurred the line that separates his own identity from that of his "best friend". To look at this from a psychologist POV, one could argue that to alleviate his guilt about "pushing" Finny from the tree, Gene seeks to escape his "self" and find refuge in someone else’s identity. Moreover, while becoming Finny allows Gene to escape his own guilty conscience, it also enables him to eradicate the feelings at the base of that guilt. Gene feels guilty about the accident because he knows how envious he was of Finny and cannot help but wonder if his envy somehow influenced his actions. Here's the really twisted part, by dressing up as Finny, Gene has purged himself of this envy by becoming the very object of it. :::GASP:::
We're going to take sometime this week to better understand Knowles characters and how we are able to draw the conclusions we do. Please keep in mind there will be a vocab quiz on Chapters 1-5 on Wednesday and Thursday!
Check back here for weekly class updates!