By Cary M. Roberts
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Extra info for A Separate Peace, Notes
For example, Finny says one should speak honestly and truthfully when telling how tall one is. " These statements are paradoxical, since one involves complete and absolute honesty, while the other involves insincerity and deception. We see also in this chapter the extent to which sports are important to Finny. Besides the beauty of the game, they also represent a challenge. This challenge can be seen by the limits that are imposed by the human body, but Finny is the type who revolts against authority, even that dictated by one's own body; consequently, he will attempt any event requiring a little more strength than is usually demanded by the body.
With his balance restored, Gene makes his jump. The "Super Suicide Society" is formed. That night, Gene realizes that Finny practically saved his life. Otherwise, he would have fallen from the limb and killed himself. Page 15 Commentary The essence of this chapter is devoted to establishing Finny's character and Gene's reaction to Finny's nature. In the meeting with Mr. Prud'homme, we see that Finny offered a scatterbrained explanation for missing a meal. As he talked he noticed that Mr. Prud'homme responded to Finny's explanation.
He becomes immersed with all the force and power of the ocean as though, at last, he has found another force that equals his. After the evening on the beach is completed, the two boys return to the sand to sleep for the night. There Finny joyously apologizes for having dragged Gene away but explains to Gene: "You can't come to the shore with just anybody and you can't come by yourself, and at this teen-age period in life the proper person is your best pal . . " Since Finny is the spontaneous person, this emotional revelation was easy for him to make.
A Separate Peace, Notes by Cary M. Roberts