A Separate Peace

At the end of the chapter, Gene runs off and leaves Leper babbling alone in the field. Why is Gene upset?

Chapter 10

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Gene doesn't say why he is so incredibly upset at it, though presumably it has something to do with him identifying with the feelings that Leper is expressing. Gene flipping out and running away is anything but clear, his reaction doesn't have the same power that the prose clearly intends it to have. Gene says that he "didn't want to hear any more of it. Not now or everŠI didn't want to hear any more of it. Ever" (143); the repetition emphasizes his sentiments, but since it is hard to figure out why he is acting like this, it is impossible to empathize. Gene's story gains most of its emotional impact through the empathy he helps his reader to feel with him, but when it is difficult to find a way to empathize with him, this emotional impact is lost.