A Seperate Peice Essay Research Paper Gene — страница 11

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Finny’s guidance, he suddenly finds his stride and breaks through his former limitations. Mr. Ludsbury comes out to see what they are doing, and Finny tells him Gene is training for the Olympics. Ludsbury tells them to remember that all athletic training should be toward preparing for the War, and Finny says flatly, “No.” This response flusters Ludsbury, who mutters something and leaves. Finny muses that he seemed sincere about his belief in the War and concludes he must be too thin to be let in on the hoax; Gene agrees with Finny’s reasoning. Gene says he realizes for the first time at the beginning of this chapter that the morning renews nothing and that sleep is merely a suspension of the problems of the previous day. Finny does not accept this, and Gene imagines him

waking up every day and checking if his leg perhaps has been restored during the night. This chapter develops Finny’s reliance on Gene, and Gene’s more abstract reliance on Finny. Finny’s confusion and distance upon hearing Gene’s plans to enlist indicates his hope that Gene will stay. Finny’s need for Gene gives Gene a sense of purpose and causes him to stop seeing the War as destroying the peace of the Devon summer, as it has returned for him with Finny. For a brief time, the War slips into the background. Seeing Finny hobbling about on crutches makes Finny think about how lightly and gracefully he used to walk and realize painfully that he will never be able to walk like that again. Finny’s spirits seem undamaged, though, and he insists that he loves the winter

despite the hardships it brings upon him. Finny often pauses outside a building to gather his strength before entering it in order to keep up the illusion of his vitality, but Gene can always recognize his weakness. When Finny suggests they go to the gym, Gene thinks he wants to brood over the trophies that bear his name there, but he passes by them without a thought and heads for the locker room to soak up the ambiance of athleticism. Finny reveals that he still expects Gene to be a star in his place and allows his bitterness to show. Gene can think of no appropriate reply to Finny’s words, so he silently offers to take his place by going over to the exercise bar. The increasing urgency in Finny’s voice goads Gene on to complete the chin-ups. Finny is even more surprised

than Gene to discover the anger within him; neither ever mentions it again, but they never forget its presence. Finny insists his suffering has given him greater insight than most people his age, enough to see through the haze of the War. Finny’s thoughts and beliefs may not be true, but Gene feels they should be, so he generally does not argue with them. Gene does not believe Finny because of his schoolboy fear of being “taken in,” but still his illusory peace appeals to him as an incredible joke if it were true, and he feels that the school chaplain’s view of the War, for one, is just as unreal as Finny’s. Finny’s insistence that there is no war begins to affect Gene, as the war consists mainly of mental impressions for him, and he can believe in the War only with

effort. Finny seems changed as he trains Gene for his illusory Olympics; he seems older, smaller, and impersonal. Finny interprets Gene’s discovery of his physical potential as an act of getting to know himself; he declares that Gene knew nothing about himself before. Finny has also changed in his response to authority. Whereas before he would have tried to charm Mr. Ludsbury into letting him have his way, now he flatly refuses to listen to him with his new mature tone. Mr. Ludsbury cannot deal with this breach of obedience and removes himself from the scene. Gene feels a profound inner peace as he trains with Finny, and he sometimes finds it hard to truly believe in the widespread confusion of the War anymore. Leper Lepellier enlists to everyone’s surprise in January, but

this only makes the War seem even more unreal to Gene. Later, Brinker starts the running joke that Leper must be behind any Allied victory. Finny refuses to take part in these jokes, and as they dominate the conversation in the Butt Room, both he and Gene stop going there. He pulls Gene further and further away from his other friends until he spends all his time with him training for the Olympics. One day, Finny decides to have a Winter Carnival and starts assigning tasks. Brinker organizes the transfer of equipment from the dormitory to a park on the Naguamsett and has his mousy roommate Brownie Perkins guard several jugs of hard cider buried in the snow. They arrange a little ski jump, snow statues, and prizes, and Chet Douglass provides music on his trumpet. As the carnival