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

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A foil in literature is someone that makes another character seem better by contrast. Since A Separate Peace is narrated from Gene's point of view, his insecurities are pitted against Finny's greatest talents. For example, Gene feels insecure because he compares his introverted self and academic achievement with Finny's extroverted personality and athletic abilities. This does not provide the satisfaction he is seeking because it is as if he is comparing the proverbial apples to oranges. As many people do, Gene sees his weaknesses in Finny's strengths. Little did he know, however, that Finny may also harbor some jealous feelings. When Gene asks Finny if he would mind if Gene graduated at the first of the class, Finny says the following:

"'Mind?' Two clear green-blue eyes looked at me. 'Fat chance you've got, anyway, with Chet Douglass around'

'But you wouldn't mind, would you?' I repeated in a lower and more distinct voice.

He gave me that half-smile of his, which had won him a thousand...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 678 words.)

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