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A Separate Peace Essay

In chapter four the doppelganger is starting to form. Gene is starting to believe that there is a deadly rivalry between Finny and him. Gene is striving to win the valedictorian which means he has to study hard. Gene thinks that when he wins valedictorian that Finny and him will finally be even. Gene asks Finny if he minds that Gene is trying to win valedictorian, Finny replies, “I’d kill myself out of jealous envy” (52). Gene believes this. Gene has a lot of bitterness towards Finny since Finny is a star athlete and can talk his way out of any trouble he gets in to.

To help deal with the bitterness Gene starts to tell himself that Finny is also jealous of Gene’s academic abilities. This bitterness towards Finny helps Gene advance in classes to bother Finny. Gene starts to think that Finny purposely tries to ruin his study times. Gene is starting to realize that Finny was never trying to compete with Gene with him. Gene then goes into deeper bitterness than he was in before, Gene believes that Finny is superior. This foreshadows when Gene shakes the tree limb.

When Finny falls off the tree, this is the climax of the story since Gene and Finny are doppelgangers and only one of them can exist, and the one that is trying to hurt the other Gene. Finny was never trying to hurt Gene in any way but it was all in Gene’s mind. The doppelganger is a conflict that goes on through out the whole book, Gene is always trying to get rid of Finny and compete with him meanwhile, Finny never means to harm anyone. When Finny dies, Gene shed no tears because Finny and him were one, and he couldn’t cry at his own funeral.

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