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In Chapter 11, Finny acknowledges that there is a "real war" going on after he sees Leper at Devon. However, it is in chapter 12 that the reader learns that Finny has been writing to the different military branches (i.e. Army, Navy, Marines) and they have all rejected him based upon his medical condition.
Once he accepts that there is a war, he also needs to face the reality of being rejected - something he is not accustomed to. Furthermore, he can no longer deny the fact that he will not be part of the war effort as he would like. Finny states, "I'll hate it everywhere if I'm not in this war!" Finny's life is forever changed by the fall from the tree and the rejection by the armed forces makes this clear.
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