In the novel, " A Separate Peace," John Knowles creates a relationship between two friends that will be puzzled over for many years. These two friends are Finny (Phineas) and Gene, two upper classmen at Devon, a private high school in New Hampshire. Phineas and Gene have two completely different personalities. Finny, athletic and adventurous, has a wild imagination and never follows tradition. Gene, smart in academics, conservative, hard working, would prefer to follow the rules. It hardly seems that the two could be come friends, being so different from each other, having little in common, what time could they possibly spend together? Throughout the story, Gene constantly has a different opinion about his new friend and tries to figure out exactly what is going on between them. However, Gene never realizes that in the end, Finny is his life force and he trusted him. Friendship is a special bond between two people; a bond that depends on one important element, trust.
Gene is very much part of Finny. Although it did not seem like it, Gene actually trusts Finny. At the beginning of the story, Finny suggests that Gene jump out of a tree, Gene knew he didn't wish to do this but he did it anyways and in Gene's words, "What was I doing here anyway? Why did I let Finny talk me into stupid things like this? Was he getting some kind of hold on me"(906) This wasn't the first time Gene does something he doesn't want to. He also goes along with Finny and creates the Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session (SSSSS), and yet again jumps out of the tree to celebrate the beginning of the club. In chapter 3, Finny has the idea of going to the beach, Gene thought of several reasons not to go:" The beach was hours away by bicycle, forbidden, completely out of all bounds. Going there risked expulsion, destroyed the studying I was going to do for an important test the next morning, blasted the reasonable amount of order I wanted to maintain in my life, and it also involved the kind of long, labored bicycle ride I hated.