Genes Growing Discontent with Finny Gene comes to the Devon School 15 years after he attended it and tells us the story when he was sixteen. In chapters 1-3 of John Knowles' A Separate Peace, the characters Gene and Finny appear to be the best of friends. However, the names that Gene calls Finny, Gene's resentment at feeling forced to engage in activities of Finny's devising, and Genes responses when he thinks Finny is getting in trouble reveal his growing discontent. The names that Gene calls Finny reveal his growing discontent with their relationship. As a response to Finny when they were talking about the jumping of the tree, Gene calls Finny "goofy." (10) Gene retaliates against Finny because he was trying to shame him.
Finny decides to wear a pink shirt as a symbol of him supporting an allied bombing in Europe, Gene see's this and calls him a "fairy." (17) Gene does not like Finny's shirt because it is out of the ordinary so he says it makes him look like a fairy. While playing a game called blitz ball Gene seriously states "are you crazy" (30) when Finny tells him to knock down the person he passed the ball to. This shows that Gene is basically calling Finny stupid by calling him crazy. All of the names that Gene calls Finny show the growing discontent that Gene has with Finny in their relationship. Gene's resentment at feeling forced to engage in activities of Finny's devising shows his growing discontent with their relationship. One activity Gene resents is being forced to jump off the tree.
Finny gets Gene to get on the tree and tells him to jump, Gene being afraid of jumping off thinks "Why did I let Finny talk me into stupid things like this?" (9) Gene thinking about his discontent toward Finny implies that he was talked into or forced into jumping off the tree. Finny saves Genes life when Gene turns to look at Finny on the tree and loses his balance, he was about to fall when Finny put his arm out to re balance Gene. Gene later realized that Finny might have saved his life but he would not have been on that "damn limb" (25) if it was not for Finny. Gene was forced to jump off the tree by finny so he could have died because of Finny which shows his discontent with him. Another activity that shows Genes resentment is while playing blitz ball.
Blitz ball is a game Finny invented so he was naturally good at it. Finny is explaining the rules of blitz ball while playing a game of it and he gives the ball to Gene and tells everybody to knock him down Gene surprised says "Do what?" (29) right before he gets tackled. Gene is surprised when Finny tells everyone to tackle him this shows that gene dislikes the rules of the game. Gene constantly is trying to get rid of the ball during blitz ball but ends up getting it back because of the rules Gene states, "Still mine? Nobody has had the ball but me, for God sakes!" (31) Gene is constantly trying to get rid of the ball during blitz ball; he dislikes the game and Finny because he is so good at it. Every time Gene is being forced to engage in activities of Finny's devising he shows his growing discontent towards him.
Genes responses when he thinks Finny is getting into trouble shows his growing discontent in their relationship. Gene states, "this time he wasn't going to get away with it." (20) Gene thinks Finny is going to get in trouble and this time he's not getting out of it. Gene sees how Finny got away with it and he "felt a sudden stab of disappointment." (21) He felt disappointed because with his discontent with finny he is jealous that he can get a way with anything. In conclusion Genes responses when he thinks Finny is gong to get into trouble shows his growing discontent with Finny. Genes growing discontent in his relationship with Finny is shown by the names Gene calls Finny, Genes resentment at feeling forced to engage in activities of Finny's devising, and Gene's responses when he thinks Finny is getting into trouble.