In John Knowles' A Separate Peace, why does Brinker seem to think that the trail would be good for both Gene and Finny? Do you agree with his reasoning prior to seeing the outcome of the trail?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Brinker meant that both Gene and Finny would benefit from the trial because he believed that Finny didn't know the truth about Gene's intentions on the tree's limb the day Finny broke his leg. Brinker is a symbol of American Justice, so he put together this opportunity for both Gene and Finny to face the truth about themselves and what happened that day. Brinker had Leper all ready and waiting with his testimony to prove that Gene hurt Finny on purpose. Little did Brinker know that Gene had gone to Finny to clear things up before the school year restarted in the fall. Even if he did know, Finny was in denial about the whole thing and wouldn't accept the fact that his best friend would do that to him.  Gene didn't plan the consequences of his impulsive response to his jealousy towards Finny; but that's just it. That is the whole point of a bildungsroman where the young person discovers a valuable lesson in their youth that they take with them for the rest of their lives. I wouldn't say that Brinker helped Gene and Finny come to full closure with the incident because any other mishap that might have befallen them would have sparked the final conversation that they ultimately have to clear it all up. But the fact remains that Brinker said something that was true; both boys needed to talk about it with complete honesty in order to forgive each other and move on.

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A Separate Peace

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