"A Separate Peace" by John Knowles Separate Peace What really happened in the tree? Gene and Finny were very good friends; however, whatever happened in the tree the day the Finny 'fell' out, is the actual cause of Gene." ... My knees bent and I jounced the limb... ." page 52. In fact, Finny did not fall out of the tree, but Gene had actually pushed him out.
Gene had very good reasons to push him out "Finny had put him up to it, to finish me fro good on the exam." Page 49. He pushed him out of jealousy for two things. For athleticism, and for his popularity, and also for his ability to talk his way out of anything... First, Finny was a very athletic person; however, Gene is just a normal average day person. Gene couldn't stand attempting to compete with Finny because he knew that he would always lose. When Finny broke the school swimming record set by A.
Hopkins Parker without even trying, Gene knew that even if he tried he couldn't do it. What Gene didn't understand was that Finny didn't want anybody to know about what he had done that day. For Finny to tell Gene that he didn't want anybody to know what happened, was in a way an insult to Gene because Finny was basically saying, 'I can do it and you can't'. This is a perfect example of Gene being jealous at Finny for something that he could never do. In another case where Gene would be jealous of Finny's athleticism and popularity is when he invents the game 'Blitzball'. Everybody enjoyed playing the game "I believe a form of it is still being played at Devi on" page 52 and listened to Finny as he told everybody how to play.
Finny was able to talk people into doing anything, just by how he acted. Moreover, he was able to invent a new sport because of his athleticism. Another example of finny being better and saying, 'I can do it and you can't'. Gene knew as a fact that he could not invent a new sport and get enough attention for it.
Gene could not do many things that Finny was able to do, such as talk his way out of anything. During summer school, Finny was able to talk his way out of getting in trouble a couple times. When he and Gene had skipped dinner to go to the tree, they were caught when they were walking back. All he did was talk to the teacher right there, and nothing ever came up about again. Another time was when Finny was at the headmaster's house for tea, he was wearing a tie as a belt, but the odd part was that it was the school tie. Again, Phineas explained to the headmaster, that wearing the school tie as a belt, contributed to the war effort.
All he had to do was explain it, and he never got in trouble again. Gene probably wished he had the ability to do that; however, he knew that only Finny could do it, and with such ease. When Gene and Finny road to the beach, it was Finny's idea in the first place. They spent the night on the beach and when they got back Gene fails his trigonometry test.
Later Gene claims that Finny did it on purpose to lower his grade and make Finny look good. They never really told what Finny's intentions really were, they just explained what Gene was thinking, so Finny could be completely innocent, it was just Gene's jealousy clouding his judgement. As you can see, Gene had much reason to push Finny out of the tree. It was from jealousy from Finny's athleticism, his popularity, and his ability to talk his way out of almost anything. Only Gene knew that Finny was the only person at the school that could accomplish so many things, and Gene did not want to deal with Phineas anymore..