A Separate Peace

How did Finny recieve Gene's admission of guilt?


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While Gene tries to rationalize what happened and talk around the truth in a way that obscures his guilt, Finny addresses his thoughts in a careful way that conveys the truth of the situation. He does not mislead or malign his friend in the process. Finny uses understatement in introducing his thoughts, that Gene might be responsible; "awfully funny expression you hadŠlike you have right now," he tells Gene, getting his point across without causing any disturbance. While Finny is very calm and speaks quietly, cautiously, and with understatement, Gene is frantic, desperately trying to rationalize things, and forced to speak out of a lingering guilt; the contrast between the two is furthered by their opposing demeanors during the infirmary visit.