A Seperate Peice Essay Research Paper Gene — страница 5

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personal enjoyment and assumes on some level that everyone else does so as well. He sees sports as an absolute good at which everyone wins simply by participating; to think otherwise would indicate some sort of disloyalty in beating someone else at a game. Finny breaks the swimming record just to see if he can, and refuses the opportunity to do it officially. This absolutely bewilders Gene, even more than Finny’s incredible feat of taking up an entirely new sport and excelling at it with no practice whatsoever. Here Gene hints at the key to the fundamental, ultimately fatal difference between the two of them when he says Finny seemed to him at that moment too unusual for rivalry, the basis of most relationships at Devon. Unlike Gene and just about every other student at Devon,

Finny does not see himself as competing against his classmates in everything he does. When Finny courageously puts forth a show of bare emotion in telling Gene he is his best friend, Gene knows he should return the sentiment, but he (like most Devon students) is not used to such emotional honesty and feels somewhat frightened by it. Something even deeper than the constraints of conventionality holds him back from replying to Finny. In retrospect, Gene decides that perhaps he did not reply because deep down, he truly did not feel towards Finny what Finny felt towards him. Gene places the truth on a level of emotion deeper than thought. Gene awakens with the dawn. Finny wakes up after a short while and goes for a quick swim before they head for home. They arrive just in time for

Gene’s ten o’clock test in trigonometry, which he flunks. It is the first time he has ever failed a test, but Finny gives him little time to worry about it. They play blitzball all afternoon and have a meeting of the Super Suicide Society after dinner. That night, Gene tries to catch up on his trigonometry, and Finny tells him he works too hard. Finny accuses him of trying to be class valedictorian, and Gene denies it. Suddenly, he realizes that he wants to be valedictorian, so he can match Finny and all his athletic awards. Gene asks Finny if he would mind if he did end up head of the class. Finny jokingly says he would kill himself out of envy; Gene realizes that the jocular tone is a screen and that he is serious. Gene is highly disturbed at his realization of the rivalry

between them, and he concludes that all Finny’s overtures of friendship and his insistence that Gene share in all his diversions are calculated attempts to ruin Gene’s chances for academic success equal to Finny’s athletic achievements. Gene works to become an exceptional student, and begins to surpass his only real rival, Chet Douglass. Finny cannot compete with Gene academically, but he intensifies his studying as well; Gene interprets this as an attempt to even out the sides of the rivalry, since Gene is an excellent student and a fairly good athlete, while Finny is an excellent athlete but a poor student. Despite Gene’s suspicions of Finny, the two get along well in the weeks that follow. The masters give up their pretenses of discipline, and one day Gene tells Mr.

Prud’homme about his trip to the beach with Finny and finds him completely unconcerned with their rule breaking. Gene continues to attend the nightly meetings of the Suicide Society so as not to let on to Finny that he knows anything is wrong between them.One night as Gene studies for a French final, Finny comes into the room and announces that Leper Lepellier is planning on jumping from the tree that night to become a full member of the club. Gene does not believe Leper will ever make the jump for real and concludes Finny must have put him up to the attempt to interfere with his studying. Gene complains that his grade will be ruined and begins to storm out to the tree, and Finny tells him casually that he does not have to come along if he wants to study, as it is only a game.

Finny says he did not realize that Gene ever had to study, that he thought his academic prowess came naturally to him. He expresses admiration of Gene’s intelligence and says he should be serious about something at which he excels; he tells Gene to stay and study. Gene says he has studied enough and insists on going to see Leper jump.As they walk toward the tree, Gene decides that there must never have been any rivalry between them, and that he is not of the same quality as Finny. Finny proposes a double jump with Gene, and they strip and ascend the tree. Finny goes out onto the limb first, and when Gene steps out, his knees bend and he jostles the limb, causing Finny to lose his balance and fall with a sickening thud to the bank. Gene then moves out to the end of the limb and