"What I mean is, I love winter, and when you really love something, then it loves you back, in whatever way it has to love" (Knowles 111).
Chapters 7 and 8 are interesting because of the emotional roller coaster that Gene experiences. He continues to feel deeply affected by the incident with Finny, and then he decides he wants to start a fresh by going into the army, then he changes his mind because Finny has return to Devon. One would think that the fall would have driven a wedge between the two; instead, the fall has resulted in a tightening of the strange bond between the two so called friends. How is it possible you ask? First, Finny does seem to possess a genuine love for Gene, and, because they're friends, it doesn't occur to him that Gene might not love him back or reciprocate the friendship. (Kids.... I'm talking a purely platonic love here!) It is important to remember that Finny assumes that other people approach the world in the same way that he does. Just look at the conversation he and Gene had about studying! Simply put, Finny assumes that love is always reciprocated. The other side to all of this is a bit darker- we have already seen evidence of Gene’s eagerness to lose himself in Finny, to give up his identity and live as a part of his friend but now, in Finny’s enthusiasm to train Gene in athletics, we observe how Finny, too, contributes to this process, welcoming this sacrifice on Gene’s part. He is allowing Gene to become him; he is vicariously living his dreams through him.
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