A Seperate Peice Essay Research Paper Gene — страница 8

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character. Gene is extremely concerned about the atmosphere of the place and finds it difficult to break into talk about the tree incident after Finny has drawn him into his friendly, congenial aura. Gene wishes he had met Finny in some impersonal setting like a train station to make his confession. He fears the confession would be even more damaging in this highly personal setting, that it would tear apart the atmosphere of the place and seem too unreal to be accepted. He chooses an impersonal, antique chair to sit in for his announcement to distance himself as much as possible from Finny’s intimate environment. Gene thinks for a moment that Finny’s anger at his confession reveals something true about him and helps him know himself better, but Finny disagrees; this theme of

knowing oneself surfaces repeatedly in the book. Finny refuses to believe Gene’s confession, and his refusal makes Gene start to doubt his story himself. Gene realizes that confronting Finny with the facts of his betrayal is a worse injury than the physical one, and tries to back out by negating what he has said with excuses about exhaustion from his trip. Finny readily accepts his excuses and recovers somewhat from the shock. Gene returns to the theme of the importance of place and decides he can only fully make amends for this new injury in the impersonal atmosphere of the school, not in Finny’s home. Gene departs on friendly terms with Finny again and promises not to start living by the rules (he reflects later that this is the biggest lie of all the lies he told that

day). The theme of transformation pervades this chapter. Finny seems older and more mature when Gene comes to see him at home, and he also seems to have been changed from his former, athletic self (a persona which endured even at the Infirmary after he had already been crippled) into an invalid. A more explicit transformation takes place at the beginning of the chapter as Gene dresses up in Finny’s clothes and feels like he has become Finny. This gives him an intense feeling of relief, as he no longer has to deal with the confusions of his own character. Gene gradually fuses with Finny over the course of the book, so this scene is especially significant. Later, when he makes his decision to confess his crime, he does so because he thinks that is what Finny would do- -he is

trying to shape his behavior to fit Finny’s character. This chapter also introduces the theme of illusions and their usefulness. Gene’s illusion that he has become Finny gives him a temporary respite, and Finny’s illusion that Gene has done nothing to hurt him (which becomes more pronounced as the story progresses) protects him from severe psychological damage. His violent reaction to Gene’s attempt to dispel this illusion foreshadows serious consequences that come at the climax of the novel. Gene sits at the first chapel service of the school year and observes that despite minor changes for the War, the school is back to normal, with all its usual austerity. He lives in the same room he shared with Finny over the summer. The room across the hall, which belonged to Leper

over the summer, now houses Brinker Hadley, a dominant personage on campus. Gene starts to go across the hall, but he suddenly decides he does not want to see Brinker. He realizes he is late for an afternoon appointment at the Crew House on the lower river. On his way, he stops on the footbridge on top of the dam separating the upper Devon River from the lower Naguamsett River and thinks of Finny balancing himself on the prow of a canoe on the river. Gene has taken the thankless position of assistant senior crew manager and has to work for Cliff Quackenbush. After practice is over, Quackenbush quizzes Gene on why he is just starting to manage as a senior and begins to insult him, assuming he must be disabled. Gene punches him and they start to fight and fall into the river. Gene

pulls himself out and Quackenbush tells him not to come back. As Gene walks home, he meets Mr. Ludsbury, the master in charge of his dormitory, who berates him for taking advantage of the summer substitute and engaging in illegal activities. Mr. Ludsbury tells him he has a long-distance phone call; he enters the master’s study and finds it is from Finny. Finny asks about the room and is relieved when Gene tells him he saved it for him. He asks about sports and throws a fit when Gene tells him he is trying to be assistant crew manager. Finny tells Gene that he has to play sports for him, and Gene feels relieved to think he must be meant to become a part of Finny. The administrators stress the continuity of the school at the first chapel service, and the masters look like they