I want to know what happened in Chapters 7-8 of "A Separate Peace".

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

With Finny's absence, Gene has a room to himself at Devon.  In Chapter 7, Brinker, only half-in jest, comes in and accuses Gene of "doing away with his roommate", and later in the "Butt Room", the other boys join in on the teasing.  Any questions about Gene's role in Finny's accident, however, is soon overshadowed by the encroachment of the war.  With the exception of Leper, Gene and the others volunteer to dig out the heavy snow that has paralyzed the railroad yard for the war effort.  They are mesmerized by trainloads of young recruits, "their uniforms...new...clean and energetic, they (are) going places".  Inspired, Brinker resolves to enlist the next day, and Gene entertains thoughts of going with him.  When Gene returns to his room, however, he finds that Finny has returned.

In Chapter 8, when Gene tells Finny they have been out helping the war effort, Finny absently asserts that the war is nothing more than a myth.  Finny is dismayed when he learns that Gene was thinking of enlisting, but Gene, realizing that Finny, still on crutches, now needs him, soon erases all thought of the war from his mind, creating a kind of "separate peace".  Finny soon embarks upon a new endeavor, preparing Gene to compete in the 1944 Olympics.  At only one point does Finny reveal the deep bitterness he feels about his injury,  blurting out that only he understands that the war is not real because he, alone, has suffered. 

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A Separate Peace

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