A Seperate Peice Essay Research Paper Gene — страница 9

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never left and the casual Summer Session never took place. Gene knows it did, though, that he and his friends had a happy, carefree, delightfully sinful summer, and that memory takes on special significance for him. Gene seeks out the company of others who shared his “gypsy summer” and sees those who were not present as outsiders on some level. Brinker Hadley, for instance, the year’s dominant student, would normally have attracted Gene as the center of attention and activity, but now Gene hesitates to go see him. He misses Leper’s dreaminess and calm hobbies of the summer. Finny was the only leader during the summer, and it was pleasantly anarchic as a result. All that ended when he fell from the tree and vindicated Devon’s rules and customary sternness. Now the school

is back to its usual winter structure, and class politicians like Brinker run things. Gene sees the two rivers on campus as symbolic of Devon’s dual nature. The fresh, calm, fun-loving Devon represents the Summer Session, while the salty, ugly, unpredictable Naguamsett (into which the Devon flows), which is joined to the sea and controlled by the large, global forces of the tides, represents the regular school year. The Devon River reminds Gene of a trick Finny loved to do, in which he balanced on the prow of a canoe on one foot and seemed transformed for a moment into a graceful river god. The remembrance of Finny and his former poise refreshes Gene. Gene tries to lose himself in some unassuming manager position to skirt his athletics requirement. He feels as if the doctor was

talking about him as well as Finny when he said no more sports (another instance of the fusion of the two). His position as assistant crew manager is normally taken by a disabled boy who can’t do anything more athletic, so Quackenbush assumes he must be crippled. Gene thinks to himself that he is in a way, but Quackenbush will never be able to see how. Gene sympathizes with Quackenbush and understands why he is the way he is, but he is angered by his ignorance of the summer’s glories and his loss, and his incapacity to know and feel and share like Finny did. When Quackenbush calls Gene maimed, he reacts as if he really is, and then he realizes that someone else is maimed and begins to act as Finny’s defender, although he feels afterwards that the fight was at least as much

for himself as it was for Finny. Finny is relieved when he calls to hear he will still be Gene’s roommate and takes this as a sign that their friendship is still firm and a repudiation of Gene’s crazy words when he came to visit. Finny apologizes for ever thinking their friendship was in doubt. When he tells Gene he will have to play sports for him, Gene feels an incredible freedom in losing part of himself to Finny. He feels he is destined to become a part of Finny (a particularly explicit example of the theme of transformation). Brinker comes across the hall to see Gene and congratulates him on his influence in getting such a large room all to himself. Gene becomes agitated at Brinker’s joking accusation that he purposely fixed it so Finny would not be back to share his

room. He tries to play along with the joke and says nervously that the truth will out, then suggests a smoke in the Butt Room. Brinker pretends the Butt Room is a dungeon and announces to the others there that he has brought a prisoner accused of killing his roommate. Gene’s protests catch everyone’s attention, and he sees he has no choice but to play along. He tries to make an overblown, obviously joking confession, but he chokes when he gets to the part about pushing Finny out of the tree, so he leaves it to a younger boy who takes the matter seriously to reconstruct the end. He ridicules the boy’s conclusion and directs attention away from himself. Then he excuses himself to go study his French, without having a smoke. The boys get paid to pick apples and shovel snow for

the railroad to alleviate some wartime labor shortages. On his way to the train station to go shovel snow, Gene finds Leper in the middle of a meadow cross-country skiing. Leper says he is looking for a beaver dam on the Devon River and invites Gene to come see it sometime if he finds it. Gene works on the same team as Brinker and Chet Douglass, but the work is dull and arduous. They shovel out the main line and cheer as a troop train continues on its way. On the train home, the boys talk only of the war and their eagerness to get to it. Quackenbush says he will finish school before going off to be a soldier, as he wants to take full advantage of the physical hardening program, and the other boys accuse him of being an enemy spy. When they arrive back at Devon, they find Leper