A Separate Peace

Describe the awards Finny has won. What record does he break? What do the awards and his refusal to make his accomplishment public suggest about him?

recall and interpret.

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Finny's main talents were in the area of athletics, and throughout his lifetime he had won a lot of different awards relating to those achievements. Oddly though, most of them weren't related to athletic performance, but to his sportsmanship and personality. Near the end of chapter three, after Finny breaks the school swimming record, Gene lists off some of the awards that Finny has won:

"the Winslow Galbraith Memorial Football Trophy...the Margaret Duke Bonaventura ribbon...the Devon School Contact Sport Award."

All of those awards were given on the basis of Finny being the best example of being a good sport and example for other players. So, he was a good guy to play with, and wasn't super competitive or brutal in his ego. This is reflected in the fact that he didn't want Gene telling anyone that he had defeated the school's swimming record. Finny liked challenging himself, and pushing himself to see what he could achieve, but not at the behest of making someone else feel bad. This suggests that he is not egotistical at all, not competitive against other people, and cared more about friendship and making people feel good than about winning. He also wasn't lazy though--he like to challenge himself, and pushed himself often to greater heights. He demonstrates a rare and unusual combination of athletic excellence and drive, and humility. It is one more thing that makes Finny a likeable guy. I hope that those thoughts helped; good luck!