In Knowles's A Separate Peace, what, according to Gene, had Phineas alone escaped, and who, in the end confroted Phineas with this?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Phineas had "escaped" having to go to war (World War II) because of the leg injury that he had sustained during the previous summer. But because Phineas was one who had a difficult time accepting reality, he still hoped to heal enough to be able to do his duty to his country by serving in the war. He covered this reality up at first by trying to convince himself and others that the war wasn't actually happening; but, after the second injury to his leg, the truth came out to Gene that Finny really wanted to fight the war. It was at this point that Gene said to Finny, ". . . you wouldn't be any good in the war, even if nothing had happened to your leg" (190). Gene then goes on to explain that Phineas is a sportsman, not a soldier. He tells Finny that he would always be better getting people together to play games rather than trying to kill each other (191). Finny finally accepts Gene's point of view which helps him to feel better about himself and the fact that his life would never be the same after such a horrible injury.

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A Separate Peace

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