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The scene after Finny's accident is very odd; with no mention of him either speaking or moving, it is like he is already dead. This is the final break between Finny and Gene; Gene stays at the edge of the crowd while Finny is in the center, and there doesn't seem to be any contact between them, or any recognition on Finny's part either. Gene notes a difference in Finny's look too; he says the sight of Finny being carried off is like that of "some tragic and exalted personage, a stricken pontiff." Finny's position is finally reversed, as he truly becomes helpless, and his friend is too shocked to step in and help him out. This comparison does not bode well for Finny's recovery; in Gene's language, there is a sense that things are coming to an end that foreshadows Finny's fate.
Too late, Gene finally realizes that Finny believed him to be "an extension of himself" (171). Gene never came close to extending the same kind of regard to Finny that Finny had to him; Gene finally has to realize how he failed his friend, and how his jealousies impeded a true friendship between them. Finny and Gene seem to be giving each other up here; it is one of the few times since Finny's return that the two have allowed themselves to be separated.