Finny The Great Essay, Research Paper
Throughout the novel A Separate Peace by John Knowles, there were two dominant
characters. Gene who is the narrator and Finny who is Gene’s best friend have a
great relationship shown in A Separate Peace. Finny whose real name is Phineas
has three qualities, manipulation, athleticism, and is a strong leader.
Manipulation is shown all through the novel by Finny and is one of his best
assets that he has. We see his manipulation skills from getting out of trouble
when they skipped dinner to the time he made Gene first jump out of the tree.
“”The reason sir is that we just had to jump out of that tree. You know that
tree…because we’re all getting ready for the war…Mr. Prud’homme released his
breath with a sort of amazed laugh, stared at Finny for awhile, and that was all
there was to it’” (15,16). Finny, in this quote, gets Gene and himself out of
trouble after they skipped dinner the night before and every time they get in
trouble. In the Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session he persuades Gene
to go on the jump every night even though Gene does not want to and would rather
Finny is an incredible athlete, modest, and is very brave, this is shown through
his breaking of the long-standing school swimming record and not wanting to show
off his talent. Another athletic move Finny makes is inventing a new game
called blitzball during the summer classes, which they play all the time. When
Finny breaks his leg and is never able to play sports again it devastates him.
“‘Listen, pal, if I cant play sports, you’re going to play them for me’” (77).
When Finny says this his anger is so high since he cannot play sports that he
want someone else to play for him to have that security of sports still around
Throughout the novel Finny shows great leadership. Everything done by Finny and
his friends he is leading. When they made up Blitzball he was the one who made
up the rules and tells Gene and their friends how to play the game. “‘Now Leper
has just brought out a really important fine point of the game. The receiver
can refuse a pass if he happens to choose to. Sine we’re all enemies, we can
and will turn on each other all the time. We call that the Lepellier Refusal’”
(30). Finny has a knack for leading people and does this when they first start
the Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session.
Without Phineas using his charismatic attitude, athleticism and his leadership
skills the novel would be very boring. Finny `s charismatic attitude shown all
throughout the novel helps him get the things he wants and has excitement in the
novel. His athleticism makes him competitive and makes up the game of the
summer blitzball. Finny has great leadership skills so he can manipulate people
and get what he wants from his friends.