In the book A Separate Peace, what are the prizes that Finny gives out in Chapter 9?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Finny has an interesting assortment of prizes to be given out at the Winter Carnival. These include

"Finny's icebox, hidden all these months in the dormitory basement, a Webster's Collegiate Dictionary with all the most stimulating words marked, a set of York barbells, the Illiad with the English translation of each sentence written above it, Brinker's file of Betty Grable photographs, a lock of hair cut under duress from the head of Hazel Brewster, the professional town belle, a handwoven rope ladder with the proviso that it should be awarded to someone occupying a room on the third floor or highter, a forged draft registration card, and $4.13 from the Headmaster's Discretionary Benevlent Fund."

Ironically, the prizes so carefully selected and collected by Finny are never handed out. The copy of the Illiad is burned when it is discovered that the boys have nothing to represent "the sacred fire from Olympus" to open the games. As the games get underway, Finny does "a droll dance among the prizes, springing and spinning from one bare space to another" with only one leg on the table, in a scene representative of his own vision of reality, "a choreography of peace." The dance and the Games themselves are rudely interrupted, however, when a telegram arrives for Gene from Leper. Leper, who was the first to join the military and participate in the War in totality, is in trouble, and Finny's idyllic creation of how things should be is abruptly overcome by harsh reality (Chapter 9).

Read the study guide:
A Separate Peace

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