What are examples of Phineas being a true friend to Gene in A Separate Peace?  

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The definition of friendship can be different for everyone. Most people, however, value friends when they are loyal, which is exactly what Phineas is to Gene. Being loyal isn't one of Gene's strongest qualities, but it is for Phineas. Phineas shows his loyalty to Gene by not talking about him behind his back; he shares and keeps secrets with Gene (44); he also saves Gene from falling out of the jumping tree (32); and, he doesn't believe Gene could do anything mean to him (66). Phineas completely believes in Gene's abilities and he is not out to challenge or change Gene (51). Phineas drags Gene into his athletic games (37) and through minor, mischievous schemes, such as sleeping on the beach when they should have been in their dorm room (47), but overall, as Phineas says, Gene is his best friend (48). 

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