In concurrence with the statement that Gene and Finny do become friends at the end of the novel: Upon his return to Devon as he traverses the campus, Gene remarks,
Everything at Devon slowly changed and slowly harmonized with what had gone before. So it was logical to hope that since the buildings could achieve this, I could acieve, perhaps unknowingly already had acieved, this growth and harmony myself.
Having made this remark after reflecting that he has a "well-known fear" preserved from his Devon days and that the couple of places he wants to see are "fearful sites," the reader understands that Gene's early relationship with Finny was not a true friendship, but one of rivalry and jealousy on the part of Gene. For, Gene has feared and distrusted Finny's noble nature that knew no pettiness. Gene has projected, instead, his own pettiness upon Finny so that he could feel justified in his performing above Finny in his classes. But, Finny did not care, so Gene could not be...
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