In A Separate Peace, what leads Gene to make the conclusion that Finny wanted him to get good grades?

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e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Gene begins to suspect that Finny is undermining his private attempt at becoming the top student of the class as Finny repeatedly draws Gene away from his studies. Gene responds by dedicating himself to his own private, indirect competition with Finny. 

If Gene should graduate at the top of the class, he will have won the competition between the two of them...

Insisting on an overnight trip to the beach on the eve of an exam, Finny seems to be intentionally ruining Gene's grades and waging a subtle campaign of envy and competition with Gene. 

Gene discovers this is not the case when he gets angry and finally voices his thoughts to Finny. 

He is astonished, however, when Finny, with complete candidness, expresses surprise that Gene actually has to study.


Finny then tells Gene that he should study and should not go to the evening meeting of the Super Suicide Society. Finny's sincerity is clear and Gene sees that he is the only one engaged in any private competition.

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A Separate Peace

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