Finny acknowledges that Gene did jounce the branch but is empathetic towards Gene and forgives him. Finny is able to empathize with anger.
Finny acknowledges that there is a war, and he tells Gene that he’s written to every branch of the military and has been denied by everyone. He has to face the reality of the war, and the fact that he cannot participate. His plan is to deny the war until he is accepted into it.
Finny dies, and Gene does not cry. (last paragraph)
On page 190, Gene says, “Phineas, you wouldn’t be any good in the war, even if nothing had happened to your leg.” What does Gene mean by this? What qualities make Finny a poor candidate for the war?
Finny lives in his own world of games.
His personal rule of “you must win—always” does not apply to warfare. He fails to acknowledge the fact that if there is a winner then someone else must be the loser. In war there is loss.
Finny changes the rules of his games in order to accommodate his strengths. He doesn’t have the opportunity to do this in war. Finny could not maintain his anarchy in the war; he would have to fall into line behind authority.
Finny is a peaceful being. He doesn’t hold grudges, and he doesn’t get angry.
In what ways is Gene a dynamic character? How does he change and develop throughout the novel?
Gene changes throughout the novel by finding and discovering his identity on his way to adulthood. He leaves adolescence behind.
Gene tries on many different roles until he discovers himself.
Once Finny is gone, Gene has to rely on himself to make decisions and make up his own rules.
Do you think Finny is a static or dynamic character? Explain.
Finny is static.
Look at page 191. What understanding do Finny and Gene reach about the incident in the tree? Does Finny ever really change? How does this relate to his death? What do you think Finny and his death represent?