Finny and Gene have a strong connection in A Separate Peace because of their similar circumstances and backgrounds as well as the differences in their personalities that allow them to complement one another.
"It's you, pal," Finny said to me at last, "just you and me." He and I started back across the fields, preceding the others like two seigneurs.
We were the best of friends at that moment" (Chapter 1).
In many ways, their close friendship sets them apart from the other boys early on in the novel. Despite their friendship, Finny's bright outlook on life blinds him from seeing Gene's growing jealousy and resentment. The constant atmosphere of rivalry and competition at Devon strains their relationship, especially on Gene's end. Even though the two boys spend most of their time together, Knowles characterizes their relationship as having significant gaps in terms of real closeness and understanding.