A Separate Peace by John Knowles

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Why does Gene cry when he speaks to the doctor in A Separate Peace?

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When Gene speaks to the doctor following the surgery, the doctor tells him that Finny's leg had sustained "a messy break," and that although he will walk again, he will never be able to play sports as he used to. Gene reacts by bursting into tears, crying

"...for Phineas and for (him)self and for this doctor who believed in facing things. Most of all (Gene) cried because of kindness, which (he) had not expected."

Phineas had been naturally gifted with a flowing athleticism; sports had been as much a part of his life as breathing. Gene knows that to suddenly be rendered incapable of participating in sports would be especially devastating to Finny. He cries for...

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