It’s not how we make mistakes, but how we correct them that defines us (Wolchin). This insightful quote shows that it is necessary for a person to identify and correct his or her mistakes to genuinely discover who they are. In the book A Separate Peace, Gene struggles with becoming an adult, because he is so absorbed in jealousy and unable to correct his past mistakes. It is not until the end of the book that Gene truly grows up, as he finally realizes his actions were wrong.
A person must learn from his or her own mistakes in order to grow up. At the beginning of the book, Gene makes many mistakes due to his obsession with the competition between himself and Finny, and allows himself to justify his mistakes. For example, after Gene jounces the limb and Finny breaks his leg, Finny recalls falling and wishing he could reach out to Gene. After hearing this, Gene says I flinched violently away from him. To drag me down too!’ (Knowles 65). This quote shows Gene feels no remorse for pushing Finny, and that he believes Finny is trying to sabotage him. Instead of realizing he was wrong in jouncing the limb, Gene creates an excuse for his action. Gene does this often in the beginning of the book, as he attempts to condone all of his feelings of jealousy and assumptions about Finny. Furthermore, this shows Gene is unwilling to learn from his mistakes, which is why he is remarkably immature. This proves that a person must learn and realize his or her own mistakes to grow up.
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