In John Knowles's A Separate Peace, Gene is not the same quality character that Phineas happens to be. Gene and Phineas are best friends at the Devon School, and Gene, angry because of Phineas' athletic talent and social abilities, "jounced the limb" (Knowles, 53) in order to knock Finny out of the tree. This is similar to the story of Cain and Abel in the King James Bible. Cain and Abel are brothers, the sons of
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he pushes him of a tree. Cain and Gene both cannot accept the fact they are worse at something, and therefore they try to make themselves better by harming their best friends. Gene and Cain are not of the same quality as Phineas or Abel, and this is shown through their jealousy.
The King James Bible. Thomas Nelson, gen. ed. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1984.
Knowles, John. A Separate Peace. New York: Bantam Books, 1975