Sunday, April 17, 2011

Book Notes Number 2

Page 63: Gene describes the feeling and weather of the first day of school without Finny, Some teachers have been drafted
Page 64: Devon rules forgotten about during the summer, set back in place, strict rules once again
Page 71: The boys took advantage of the summer, and the dorms went downhill, no more
Page 80: War big part of Devon School, boys help out in effort by picking apples, Gene talked about the coming of snow
Page 84: Boys dig out a train full of troops stuck in snow, in their help with war while still being in school
Page 111: Gene describes the winter and how it is depressing
Page 121: Gene travels to Leper’s house in Vermont, “roaming” the country side
Page 137: More students from Devon are enlisting into the war
Page 162: Gene compares the war at Devon to WWII to try and find comfort
Page 171: Gene is going to enlist into the Navy
Page 172: Brinker is going to enlist as well, Brinker’s father talks about enlisting and the respect and memories that comes with it
In the second half of the book, Knowles talks about the time period more than the actual location, unlike the first half of the book. WWII comes up a lot during the second half of the book and becomes the backdrop of the story. The students help out people for those who have gone to war. For example, all the farmers have gone to war so the boys pick their crops. As well a lot of students consider enlisting and some do during the school year. The main characters however wait to finish their schooling before enlisting.  As well seasons come into play as the winter session at Devon begins; Gene talks about the winter time being a depressing time.
Page 65: Class leaders take their place, introduced to Brinker Hadley who is the most dominant student
Page 67: Introduced to Cliff Quackenbush, crew manager, Gene doesn’t like him for no real reason
Page 70: Introduced to Mr. Ludsbury who is in charge of the dorms
Page 72: Finny calls long-distance to make sure Gene saved his spot as his roommate
Page 73: Finny surprised Gene isn’t doing any sports, Gene doesn’t want to as it leads him to war
Page 75: Naguansett River baptised Gene on the first day of winter session
Page 76: Everybody likes Brinker
Page 82: Leper believes everyone speeds through life not noticing the little stuff
Page 87: Brinker wants to enlist the next day
Page 88: Gene is to enlist with Brinker the next day
Page 89: Gene goes into his dorm to find Finny has returned
Page 90: Finny and Gene catch up and joke around
Page 91: Gene and Finny have grown a little apart, such as their ideas on the war are different
Page 95: Gene, Brinker and Finny joke around, with Finny’s return peace had returned to Devon for Gene
Page 98: Finny always wants to enter a room full of energy, especially sense he is using crutches
Page 99: Finny tells Gene about the Olympic dream he had and tells Gene is going to be there instead of him with Finny coaching him
Page 100: Finny says the war is not real, just a government scheme
Page 102: Gene discovers the bitterness in Finny’s personality
Page 103: Finny only believes in peace, Gene never believes in anything if there is some doubt
Page 104: Finny starts training Gene, Finny helps Gene unleash the laziness of his body, Gene discovers the magnificence of working your body to the max
Page 105: through running, Gene feels loss of self-pitty
Page 106: Finny gets very emotional when the war comes up
Page 107: Gene starts to see inside of Finny’s mind and his idea of peace, Leper enlists
Page 110: Finny starts to pull Gene away from his other friends to train for the Olympics
Page 111: Finny doesn’t find any weather depressing
Page 112: Finny comes up with idea for a winter carnival, Brinker not quite the same since failing to enlist
Page 113: Brinker withdrew from all school activities, tough minded version of himself
Page 117: Finny signals the start of the games for the winter carnival
Page 127: Leper states that Gene has a terribe temper with no self-control but underneath there is a good boy
Page 132: Gene finds Finny in the middle of a snowball fight
Page 134: Finny doesn’t let his broken leg slow him down
Page 140: Gene is tutoring Finny in school work, Finny tutoring Gene in sports
Page 141: Finny never believed in war until he saw Leper, crazy
Page 142: Leper back at Devon, but still crazy
Page 157: Gene goes to the window of the room Finny is in and tries to listen in on what the doc is saying
Page 163: Finny not acting the same to Gene, not friendly nor non-friendly
Page164: Find out Finny has been trying to enlist all winter but no one will take him because of his leg
Page 166: Gene remembers everything he did in detail, they day Finny died
Page 167: Gene did not cry hearing about Finny’s Death, as he felt it was his own funeral
Page 169: Gene will not talk about what cannot be changed
Page 170: Introduced to Brinker’s Father
Page 175: Gene schooling now over, Gene is no longer full of hate or furry, his war ended with Finny’s death
Page 176: Everyone hated someone at Devon, except Finny did not hate anyone
In the second half of the book we are introduced to some new characters and a change in personality in the other ones. The most important character we are introduced to in the second half of the book is Brinker. Brinker is the most popular guy in school and is liked by everybody. During the course of the year Brinker starts to evaluate things differently and leads us to the main climax of the story; when Finny realizes it was Gene who shook him out of the tree. We also learn more about the main characters of the story. We discover the bitterness in Finny, as well as what seems to be his vision of peace. However we later mind out that Finny does not accept things as being real unless he sees for his own eyes and he can participate in it, such as WWII. I believe we learn the most about Gene, we discover his temper and lack of self-control as he fights Cliff and hits Leper. Luckily for Gene, when Finny died, he took all the anger out of Gene with him.
Page 61: Gene builds the nerve to tell Finny he caused the accident, Finny doesn’t believe him
Page 62: Gene realizes telling Finny the truth will hurt him worse than the actually accident, decides to go back to lying
Page 69: Gene fights Cliff, Gene feels like Finny’s defender
Page 74: Finny tells Gene he has to play sports for him since he cannot
Page 77: Brinker accuses Gene of causing Finny’s fall, Gene gets angry
Page 78: Gene able to play the acquisition off as a joke
Page 93: Finny does not agree with the idea of enlisting, Gene back pedals his plans with Brinker to enlist
Page 96: Gene talks about “traps” for Finny around the school because he is crippled
Page 97: Finny tries to convince Gene to skip class, Gene says no, but they end up skipping
Page 101: Finny and Gene argue over the war and how it exists
Page 119: Gene receives a telegram from Leper who needs help
Page 123-131: Gene goes to Leper’s house. Leper insults Gene, Gene loses his temper and hits Leper, after realizing Leper has gone crazy, Gene runs away back to Devon as he can’t deal with Leper and his craziness
Page 138-139: Brinker says Finny will develop self-pity the way Gene is treating him, and everything about the accident should be brought out to the open
Page 143-159: In the middle of the night Brinker and a few boys take Gene and Finny to the First Building where they review the facts of what happened on Finny’s fall, after investigation Finny realizes Gene purposely shook the tree, Finny leaves upset crying, Finny falls down the stairs re-breaking his leg, the boys run to go get the appropriate people to help Finny, Finny taken to the infirmary, Gene breaks into the room to see Finny who is really angry still so Gene leaves
Very early in the second half of the book, Gene learns that he cannot tell Finny the truth about his fall as it would it hurt him more than the actually accident. So Gene and Finny decide to not talk about it. However Brinker has his suspicions and takes Gene and Finny in for questioning. During this time Finny, with some help from Leper, is able to recall the accident that Gene caused. 
Page 68: Cliff matured faster than all the other boys in his grade
Page 85: boys amongst heroic men, boys talked about joining the army
Page 94: Gene realizes the Finny needs him and with that insists he will not enlist
Page 109: Leper enlisted and left for war, he was the unlikely one
Page 114: The boys set up a Winter Carnival
Page 118: The boys get drunk on hard apple cider
Page 132: Gene wanted to see Finny because with him there was no conflict, only peace
Page 165: Finny says he understands and forgives Gene for shaking the tree
Page 174: Gene no longer talks about Finny, but Finny is still a big part of Gene
The theme of the book is about boys coming of age as well as friendship and male bonding. The first theme is boys coming of age which is shown throughout the book. The boys are constantly learning who they are and who they want to become as they decide whether or not to enlist during the school year. You also get the idea of trying to fit in. This is shown during the winter carnival when all the boys get drunk. The drinking of the hard apple cider always relates back to the idea of boys coming of age as they are maturing into adults. The other main theme of the story is male bonding and friendship. Gene and Finny have a strong bond, they are best friends. This was no more apparent than when Gene leaves Leper to find Finny because with Finny, Gene feels at peace as well as comfort.  Their Friendship is even able to overcome Gene shaking Finny out of a tree during a heart-warming conversation which would turn out to be their last. In the end Gene states because of the strong bond they shared, Finny has now become a part of him.
Active Reading:
                For me, this book had simple concepts that were easy to understand, therefore no active reading needed to be done. I had a problem with the book though. I could not accept Finny’s death. I didn’t mind the fact he died, what I did mind was the way he died. It was a simple operation gone horrible wrong. I couldn’t accept that a doctor who finished his education could screw up the simple operation that bad. It does not seem like a realistic way to die and ruined the last 10 pages for me.  However, after doing some research on the internet, I was able to find cases just like Finny all over the place. Including patients who had broken their leg and the bone marrow got into the blood stream during operation, exactly like Finny.