At the end of chapter 3, Finny tells Gene that he is his best friend after a fun, exhilarating day at the beach. Instead of responding to Finny's comment, Gene thinks to himself,
I should have told him then that he was my best friend also and rounded off what he had said. I started to; I nearly did. But something held me back. Perhaps I was stopped by that level of feeling, deeper than thought, which contains the truth (Knowles, 21).
Gene's overwhelming feelings of insecurity, competition, and jealousy prevent him from admitting that he is close friends with Finny. By not reciprocating, Gene displays his true feelings towards Finny.
In chapter 4, Gene admits to Finny that he has to work extremely hard to get good grades. This astonishes Finny, who has never had to work hard at anything in his life. Gene is insecure and believes that he would be "even" with Finny if he were the highest ranking student in the school. When Gene asks Finny if he would mind if he received that award, Finny...
(The entire section contains 2 answers and 633 words.)