The Truth Will Come Back to Hurt You
One of the biggest themes from the novel, A Separate Peace, written by John Knowles, is that denying the truth does not make it disappear. He displayed this idea in various parts of the novel. When Gene refused to believe that he was jealous of Finny and finally believed that he was, he did something very drastic. Another time was when Finny refused to believe there was a war, but changed his mind when he saw how one of his good friends was mentally scarred by it. Finny also refused to believe that his best friend could deliberately cripple him for life, but eventually he began to believe it, and ultimately, that lead to his death.
In the back of his mind, Gene always knew that he was in one way or another, jealous of Finny. He wished that he could be as carefree and charismatic as Finny was, but he didn’t want to admit it. He denied this so much that it made him believe that his very best friend was jealous of him. Gene convinced himself that Finny was out to sabotage his grades in school because he was not as good in school as Gene was. That assumption led Gene to do something terrible. On one night, Leper, a good friend of both the boys, decided he wanted to qualify for the Super Suicide Society. The society was something Finny made up, that he and Gene were in together. It required the boys to jump out of a gigantic tree into a flowing river. Gene was in denial so badly about his feelings for Finny that when Finny was about to jump out into the river, Gene jounced the branch Finny was standing on. He fell to the ground, broke his leg, and was crippled forever. Just because Gene denied that he was jealous of Finny, doesn’t mean that he wasn’t. His false denial caused him to physically hurt his friend.
... of "blind impulse', Finny thinks that gene is too good of a friend which leads Finny for feeling guilty for Finny. By Gene pushing Finny out of the ... day Finny died. Gene looses his best friend to jealousy. He never would have hurt if he was jealous. Gene lost his only true friend because ...
After Finny’s leg was so badly broken, he could no longer do any physical activities. That meant that he couldn’t be in the war, which was his dream. Finny decided that because he couldn’t be in the war, there must really be no war. He pushed the truth so far out of his head, that even when people around him got drafted into the war, he believed it was some kind of government hoax. Finny finally realized that there really was a war when he saw how his old friend Leper had gone crazy after he enlisted. In the end, Finny admitted that he was in denial because when Gene visited him in the Infirmary the second time he broke his leg, he said, “I’ll hate it everywhere if I’m not in this war! Why do you think that I kept saying there wasn’t any war all winter? I was going to keep saying it until two seconds after I got a letter from Ottawa of Chunking or some place saying, ‘Yes, you can enlist with us,’… Then there really would have been a war.”(Pg. 182)
The strongest fact that Knowles used to show that denying the truth doesn’t make it go away was how Finny reacted to Gene when he was trying to explain what happened at the tree to him. Finny absolutely refused to believe that Gene could really make him fall out of the tree, even though he had a suspicion that he did. After almost a year of denying that the accident was Gene’s fault, the truth finally came back to haunt him. One of the last nights before graduation, a mutual friend of Gene and Finny’s named Brinker, got a group of boys together and decided to hold a fake court case to find out what really happened at the tree. All those times that Finny had denied that Gene caused the accident on purpose were proven wrong when Leper was brought in as a witness, and it was almost proven Gene did cause Finny’s falling. Finny didn’t want to believe that his friend really did that, so he ran out of the building, and fell down the steps, breaking his leg again. When the doctor tried to set the bone straight again, marrow from inside the bone got into Finny’s blood and he died.
... tree between Finny and Gene was when Gene shook the branch to make Finny fall. This was an act of war on Gene's part. Gene saw Finny ... the whole truth about what really happened at the tree that day. That's why Gene tried to ... even though he knew it was the truth. So Gene jumped out of his chair and yelled ... for its life, the truth will out.' (Knowles 80) Gene related the "truth' coming out to the values ...
If this novel displayed any themes at all, it most definitely displayed the fact that denying the truth will never make it disappear. Gene learned that when he tried to deny that he was indeed jealous of Finny, he really was and it all built up inside of him making him think crazy things about his best friend and physically hurt him. Finny realized it as well when he convinced himself there was no war, and then realized there was really a war when he saw how Leper had changed. Finny experienced that theme again when he tried to say that Gene didn’t make him fall out of a tree, and then found out it was Gene’s fault. These characters learned a very good lesson; they should just face the facts of life; otherwise, the truth will expose itself later on, only it will hurt more.