In the novel "A Separate Peace," by John Knowles, a boy named Gene visits his high school 15 years after graduating in order to find an inner peace. While attending the private boys school during the second World War, Gene's best friend Phineas died and Gene knows he was partially responsible. Phineas, or Finny as he was sometimes called, was the most popular boy in school. He was a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. Gene, on the other hand, was a lonely, self-sufficient intellectual. Somehow the two became good friends, or so Finny thought. Gene, unfortunately, was bitten by the green-eyed monster of jealousy. Gene just couldn't come to grips with the idea that a person of Finny's stature would want to be his friend. Gene's envy grew to a point where he was willing to severely injure Finny for being too perfect. Unfortunately for Finny, Gene succeeded. Finny's seeming perfection, his strong beliefs, and his ability to forgive trace his development throughout the novel.
Finny's seeming perfection was the basis for Gene's resentment towards him. Gene thought that everything Finny did was perfect, which just upset Gene all the more. Finny was so perfect that he didn't care what others thought, like when Finny wore a pink shirt as an emblem after the bombing of central Europe. " '.Pink! It makes you look like a fairy!' 'Does it?' He used this preoccupied tone when he was thinking of something more interesting than what you had said." One time Finny and Gene were at the swimming pool when Finny noticed that a boy named A. Hopkins Parker had the record for the 100 yards free style. When Finny realized that A. Hopkins Parker had graduated before they came, he remarked, "I have a feeling I can swim faster than A. Hopkins Parker." He was right. Gene was ecstatic that Finny could do such a thing without any training or anything. All Gene could say was, "You're too good to be true.