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In "A Separate Peace," how do Gene and Finny act as a foil to each other?

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farlesh4 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 2, 2008 at 9:01 PM via web

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In "A Separate Peace," how do Gene and Finny act as a foil to each other?

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katemschultz | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted September 3, 2008 at 9:30 AM (Answer #1)

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Stereotypically, Gene can be seen as the nerd and Finny as the jock or the "cool guy". Gene envies Finny's ease in social situations, his ability to be himself and not take himself seriously, his willingness to take risks and his athletic ability. Finny envies Gene's studious behavior and his responsibility, but tries to get him to let loose more often. Both want to be friends, but it is their differences that stand in their way. Gene's jealousy causes him to jounce the limb and cause Finny's fall. Gene mistakenly thinks with Finny out of the way, Gene will be more well-liked, which doesn't turn out to be the case at all. In fact, it sours Finny's personality, which reflects on Gene.

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