“I couldn’t help envying him that a little, which was perfectly normal. There was no harm in envying even your best friend a little.”
It is, and will always be, human nature to envy, or some might say, be jealous of what someone else’s lifestyle, achievements, and reputation are. We are striving to become someone great and powerful, so when we spot that someone else has achieved these things, we question why that is and then lead into how it should be yourself instead. To envy, is to count someone else blessings instead of your own. ALthough it is not considered a good feeling to have, at times it can drive us to be better. Most of the time though, it can and will bring out our ugly side. The side that causes back and waste our own time.
“Over my cot I had long ago taped pictures which together amounted to a barefaced lie about my background-”
Those who don’t feel confident about where they come from or who they are will do their best to come up with a “better” and “more interesting” lifestyle for themselves so they can be socially accepted. This is commonly done because there is a standard for what’s “normal” and what is “weird.” No one wants to be the weird kid; no one has the guts to be that kid. And the one’s that do get picked on for being themselves. A lie is always easier to pass by than the truth, because then questions are asked and self-confidence is shattered. Obviously Gene is too insecure and ashamed of his true background so he gives out false information to be accepted with the other boys. Gradually though, Gene learns that he no longer needs this vivid false identity. Now he is acquiring a sense of his own real authority and worth, and he has had many new experiences and is growing up. Also, that’s what life is all about, growing up, experiencing things for yourself, and finding out who you are.
“My fury was gone, I felt it gone, dried up at the source, withered and lifeless.”
“The one thing that I had loved here, the peace, the measureless, careless peace of the Devon summer”
It is human nature that we go throughout our life searching for peace, love, and happiness. That is what Gene experiences during his summer days at Devon. There he felt like he belonged and nothing would ever change that. That same feeling goes with eating a homemade meal, or cuddling up on a rainy day. Nothing else matters, because it is perfect the way it is; it’s tranquil. That’s very hard to find, and a bit ironic considering a war is going on throughout this time period, but somehow Gene manages to find peace and happiness during all of this chaos. I believe that when we come across what we’ve always been looking forward to, we normally don’t know how to go about it considering we’ve never had it before. However, I think the best thing to do in these situations, is to hold on to it for as long as you can and enjoy every second because it won’t last very long. Gene does a superb job of that when he finally realizes he’s at peace with himself even though the world isn’t at this moment. That is why it is very important to cherish the moments of peace because they allow us to be ourselves fully and focus on what matters most. After working our whole lives, we expect to age and gain an overwhelmingly amount of success that come with peace and happiness however, that is not the case. You don’t work your life away and expect peace to show up at your door, you take time and be one with yourself. Understand what’s going on around you and within yourself. Peace is a state of mind in my opinion.