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Gene’s true limp, however, existed metaphorically in his soul.By expressing his deficiency in this manner, Gene highlights his desire to be just like Finny, whose limp is real, and whose limp he caused.
Featured content includes commentary on major characters, 25 important quotes, essay topics, and key themes like War Encroaching on Peace and Competition and Rivalry., by John Knowles, depicts a teenager’s coming-of-age at a New England boy’s boarding school during the final years of World War II.
The novel explores peace and conflict in a space that is both isolated from the war and beginning to feel the compromise as the war encroaches on the campus in both literal and figurative ways.
Analysis: Gene knows that Quackenbush likes to assert his authority over those whom he considers inferior, on account of his own inferiority.
It was common for the assistant crew manager, Gene’s position on the rowing team, to have some physical malady that prevented him from participating in a sport.
Analysis: In short, Phineas died of a broken heart, caused from the broken bone, caused by the betrayal of his best friend.
Quote: “They’d get you some place at the front and there’d be a lull in the fighting, and the next thing anyone knew you’d be over with the Germans or the Japs, asking if they’d like to field a baseball team against our side” (190).No matter how much students at Devon attempted to keep the outside world from encroaching, they could not.Quote: “‘…What I mean is, I love winter, and when you really love something, then it loves you back, in whatever way it has to love.’ I didn’t think this was true, my seventeen years of experience had shown this to be much more false than true, but it was like every other thought and belief of Finny’s: it should have been true. Analysis: Finny asserts his philosophy, a philosophy that leads to his fall.Quote: “They seemed to be having a wonderful time, their uniforms looked new and good; they were clean and energetic; they were going places” (97).Analysis: This ironic description of soldiers going off to war belies the danger they would soon face.Analysis: Gene sums up Finny’s character in response to Finny’s desire to fight in the war.Finny’s death is symbolic of the triumph of evil over good and the fall from innocence hastened by the encroachment of the war.My brief burst of animosity, lasting only a second, a part of a second, something which came before I recognized it and was gone before I knew it had possessed me, what was that in the midst of this holocaust? Analysis: Gene goes on us with his introspective philosophical rant on the inherent evil existent in humans.Quote: “Phineas had died from the marrow of his bone flowing down his blood stream to his heart” (194).The older a person gets, the more responsibilities and problems they will encounter. Everyone has a specific object or place that immediately floods them with memories.Whether it be the stretch of road where they crashed or a pencil they used to pass a huge test, these items are everywhere. While World War II rages in Europe, a different type of struggle affects the young students at an all-boys private boarding school.