The War from Within Brennan filney

Chapter One : A Friendship is Forged

Visual representation of the tree the boys jumped from into the pond.

"'It's you, pal,' Finny said to me at last, 'just you and me.' He and I started back across the fields, preceding the others like two seigneurs. We were the best of friends at that moment “ (Knowles, 17-18)

The tree was massive, I never thought climbing it was possible. Only Phineas would believe it was possible. He said it was easy to climb, I didn't believe him. There were 5 of us, obviously Finny would be the first to try. He asked is if any of us wanted to go first, there was no response. So Finny began to climb the tree, he is a brilliant athlete and climbed the tree with ease. When he reached the top he asked if we would jump if he did, we all gave an inconclusive response. I was not so sure if it was a good idea. Finny then yelled “here’s my contribution to the war effort!” Then jumped into the river. He resurfaced and looked ecstatic. I was next to go... I still wasn't sure if it was a good idea. When I reached the top I started to lock up, I was so scared, why was I even up here to begin with? From this high it doesn't look like you could reach the water. Finny yelled at me to hurry up and stop showing off. I jumped, it felt like I was casting my life aside. When I hit the surface of the water, I was immediately being congratulated, I was told that my jump was better than Finny’s, that made me feel good. Finny and I walked back to school, I feel like we will become good friends.

Chapter 2: The Super Secret Suicide Society of the Summer Session

Gene and Finny's friendship was greatly improved in this chapter

"I was beginning to see that Phineas could get away with anything. I couldn't help envying him that a little, which was perfectly normal. There was no harm in envying even your best friend a little (Knowles, 25)

Our absence at Dinner was noted by Mr. Prud’homme, but that didn't bother me. Gene and I have been talking all day. We went swimming in the river, we talked for a while. Then Mr. Prud’homme came to confront us about missing dinner. We have missed many meals in the last two weeks. Him confronting didn't bother me, I knew I could talk my way out of it. I said we missed lunch because we were preparing for the draft or some nonsense. He seemed to buy it so Gene and I went on with our day. I also read that the Allies bombed central Europe for the first time. This made me really happy, I decided to wear a pink cape in celebration. Really, I just used it as a reason to wear the cape, I just wanted to wear the cape. I didn't really believe it actually happened Later, at dinner, I was conversing with Mr. Patch-Withers and his Wife. She noticed I was my tie as a belt, I managed to talk my way out of that, I am glad I did too. After, I managed to get Mr. Patch-Withers to laugh, I did not know he could! Later that day, Gene and I went outside and walked towards the tree. On the way I told Gene that I did not believe the newspaper, he agreed. When Gene and I got to the tree, I asked him if we wanted to start a secret society called “The Super Secret Suicide Society of the Summer Session”, he agreed that would be fun. We then decided to jump off the tree. When we got to the top, Gene lost his balance. I was lucky to be right next to him so I could catch him. He was almost a goner.

Chapter 3: Best Friends?

The beach that Gene and Finny hung out with

"It was a courageous thing to say. Exposing a sincere emotion nakedly like that at the Devon school was the next thing to suicide. I should have told him then that he was my best friend also and rounded off what he had said. I started to; I nearly did. But something held me back. Perhaps I was stopped by that level of feeling, deeper than thought, which contains the truth," (Knowles, 48).

I managed to convince 6 other people to join Gene and I’s club! I quickly make a list of rules, one was every person had to take a jump from the tree as a start to each session. The club began to be really fun!

I also noticed how bad the Devon athletic program was, it was so boring! I decided to create a new game; “Blitzball”. I found the game really fun. Everyone else seemed to like it too, I was pretty happy that I created such a popular game! Later that day, Gene and I went to the pool, I decided to try to break the school record, just for fun. After I took my lap, Gene told me I beat it! I wasn't really expecting to, surprised me. I asked Gene to keep this a secret, I don't want any more attention. After, I asked Gene if he wanted to go to the beach with me. I didn't care that we were not allowed, I thought it'd be fun. We did many things, when we were eating, I told Gene that I was glad he came and that he was my best friend... He didn’t say it back, I don't know why...

Chapter 4: The Fall

Gene and Finny's "rivalry" was created and destroyed in this chapter. This rivalry will lead to important events in the future.

“Then a second realization broke out as clearly and bleakly as dawn at the beach. Finny had deliberately set out to wreck my studies. That explained blitzball, that explained the nightly meetings of the Super Suicide Society, that explained his insistence that I share all his diversions. The way I believed that you're-my-best-friend blabber!” (Knowles 53)

Finny and I woke up at dawn. We went for a quick swim, I didn't want to stay too long, I had a trigonometry exam that day. We got back just in time for my exam. I ended up failing it. I could not believe it! It was the first test I have ever failed, I was so mad at myself. Finny told me not to worry about it and we went out and played Blitzball. It remedied my dissapointed a bit, but not a lot. That night when studying, Finny told me I try to hard. He then made the assumption I was going for class valedictorian, which I am. I asked him what would he do if I made class Valedictorian, he said he would kill himself out of jealousy. I did not really believe him, why would he be jealous? Then the realization hit me, he is jealous! We are equals, I am a great student and a not so good athlete, Finny is a great athlete and a not so good student. There was a rivalry after all! Then another realization hit me, Phineas has been trying to wreck my studies with Blitzball and the Suicide Society! To think he called me his best friend,

I study harder and so does Phineas, he is trying to even out the sides. One day, when I was studying for a French exam, Finny comes busting into the room and says Lepper is ready to make the jump. He said all members of the Society needed to watch it. I said I didn't want to go because I was studying. Finny said I did not have to go if I did not want to, as if he was taunting me, I chose to go. When we got to the tree, Phineas said we should do a double jump. I agreed and we climbed the tree. When we got to the top, the tree justled and Finny fell off. He landed with a thud. I did not seem to care. Why? I do not really know. We rushed him to the infirmary, I began to ponder, was it my fault?

Chapter 5: Confession

Finny's broken leg. He cannot play sports now. Gene feels so much guilt because of it.

You aren't going to start playing by the rules, are you?"

"I grinned at him. "Oh no, I wouldn't do that," and that was the most false thing of all," (Knowles, 71).

The Doc said my leg was shattered, no more sports for me. I was absolutely devastated, I loved sports. I asked to see Gene. When the Doctor got him, he came in with a very surprised emotion on his face. He asked me what I remembered from the fall. All I remembered is that I started to fall and grabbed for Genes hand. He then snapped at me accusing me of wanting to make him fall too. What made him think that? I was very confused. He then asked me if I remembered what made him fall. I didn't remember. Gene said he had something terrible to say to me. Right after he said that, Dr. Stadpole asked Gene to leave. What was Gene about to say?

Sometime in September, before the new Devon session started up. Gene came to visit me. I was not really surprised, I expected him to come. I asked him about his vacation, he recalls a story a fire and says he has been thinking a lot about the accident. Gene told me it was his fault, that he deliberately shook that branch. There is no way there is any truth to that! I could not believe it, I got so mad. Gene starts to leave and I tell him right before he left that I will be back by Thanksgiving. I still refuse to believe Gene did that on purpose.

Chapter 6: Bleakness at Devon

Autumn and its gloominess it brought to Devon. Gene becomes very sad, reflecting the season.

"Still it had come to an end, in the last long rays of daylight at the tree, when Phineas fell. It was forced on me as I sat chilled through the chapel service, that this probably vindicated the rules of Devon after all, wintery Devon. If you broke the rules, then they broke you," (Knowles, 74).

The new Devon session started up. Everything seemed so bleak without Finny. I still live in the same room as I did before with Finny. Only differences are that there is no Finny and Brinker has replaced Leper across the hall. After lunch, I realize I am missing an appointment at the Crew House. On the way, I passed the Devon river, and envisioned Finny balancing on the canoe he would always be on, I miss him. When I get to the crew house, I take the position of assistant Senior Manager. My boss was Cliff Quackenbush. What a mean guy. He begins bullying me, after a while I could not take it anymore and I hit him. We begin to fight and fall into the river. I was told to leave and never come back. On my way back, I was greeted by Mr. Ludsbury who begins yelling at me for taking advantage of the substitute teachers. My only regret? Not taking MORE advantage over it. He then tells me that I got a call. It was Finny, he asked me a couple of questions and when I told him I was trying to be assistant manager he yelled at me. He said I need to do sports for Finny since he can't do them himself. I then got the realization that I was destined to become part of Finny and this is what I need to do for his sake.

Chapter 7: The Return

The boys in Devon went out to shovel snow out of train tracks.

"The war would be deadly all right. But I was used to finding something deadly in things that attracted me; there was always something deadly lurking in anything I wanted, anything I loved. And if it wasn't there, as for example with Phineas, then I put it there myself, " (Knowles, 101).

Brinker came to me and congratulated me on having such a big room to myself. He then he made a joke about be getting rid of Finny so I could have the room to myself. I try to play along, but didn't do so well. He just made me feel bad about all of that again. He invites me to the Butt Room and the other boys there play around with me with the Finny situation, I play on and acted like I truly did it on purpose so I could have the room to myself. I almost got through it all until I got to what happened at the tree. Guilt got to me and I choked. I left the room saying I needed to study.

Because of the Labour shortages, I and a couple others went shoveling snow for money. The work is boring and hard, but we get it done. On the way back, the boys talk about how they want to enlist for the war. Quacks bush says he wants to enlist right after school. We jokingly accuse him of being a German spy. When we got back home, Quackenbush says he will enlist tomorrow. That night, I was contemplating whether I wanted to enlist too. I wanted to leave my old boring life and do something exciting. But when I went up to my room, I saw Finny! He was back! I was so happy.

Chapter 8 : Olympic bound

Gene and Finny become determined to make it to the Olympics. Training creates a separate peace for them.

"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." I didn't think that this was true, … but it was like every other thought and belief of Finny's: it should have been true. So I didn't argue," (Knowles, 111).

Gene looked so surprised when he walked in! He looked so happy too. I was glad that I am back. Then, I looked at his clothes, what was he wearing?! He said he was out shoveling show for work, that explains it. I then complained about having no maid service because of this damn war, Gene said it was not really important, I guess I agree with him, I just really hate this war.

The next day, Brinker busts into our room and asked Gene if we was ready to enlist. What?! Gene enlisting in the army?! I could not believe it, he was going to enlist in that war? Gene did not look so enthusiastic about it when Brinker asked though, I might of dissuaded him, I'm not so sure. Either way, Brinker want blabbing on about some nonsense about Gene trying to kill me so he can have this room to himself. Gene then says he was no longer going to enlist in the army, that came to great relief to me. We then joked around with Brinker and called him the “Yellow Peril” acting likee was Chiang Kai-shek in disguise.

Chapter 9: Winter Festives

The Winter Carnival created a separate peace for everyone to enjoy.

"It wasn't the cider which made me surpass myself, it was this liberation we had torn fro, the gray encroachments of 1943, the escape we had concocted, this afternoon of momentary, illusory, special and separate peace," (Knowles 137).

Gene’s training is going great! He is actually really talented, I never expected it and I don’t think he did either. It is very calming to train him, we get to forget about the war. That day, Leper decided to join the army! I never would have expected that. He will join the ski troops. I hope him the best of luck, but honestly, I do not see him faring too well. We all wished him the best of luck when he left. A running joke went around when around that Leper was behind every Allied victory. Every time we heard of an allied victory, we joked that it was because of Leper. I did not like the talk about the war, I tried to distance myself and Gene away from everyone else so he can focus on training for the Olympics. I prefer us being in our own little world, apart from the war.

Chapter 10: Insanity

Lepers hallucinations almost ruined his life. He is now scarred and broken.

"What did he mean by telling me a story like that! I didn't want to hear any more of it. Not now or ever. I didn't care because it had nothing to do with me. And I didn't want to hear any more of it. Ever," (Knowles, 151).

I saw Gene at the window, I was happy he came. I welcomed him in and led Gene into the dining room. Gene asked me what happened. I told him I got a Section Eight discharge, what a disgrace I am! I will never have a normal life with that! Never have a good job! Gene said some comments and then I ripped into him calling him a savage. Saying he only cared about himself and no one else. I accused him of purposely pushing Finny out of the tree and ruining his life. He kicked me out of my chair in anger, My mom comes downstairs and yells at Gene for assaulting an ill person. I tell her that is it fine and invite him to lunch because I felt sorry. Gene and I go out for a walk. When we were out I have a complete breakdown. I tell him of my hallucinations I got while at boot camp. Out of nowhere, Gene starts yelling at me that he doesn't care and runs away. He doesn't care? I thought he was my best friend, why would not care?

Chapter 11 : The Fall... part 2

Finny fell down this marble staircase. This is important because Finny lost his life after this fall.

"No, of course I won't break it again. Isn't the bone supposed to be stronger when it grows together over a place where it's been broken one?" (Knowles, 155).

When I got back to Devon, I found Finny in the middle of a snowball fight! Is it even safe for his leg to be playing? After he finished playing, I asked about his leg. He said he felt like his leg was healing fine and the leg will be even stronger after. I was happy to hear that Finny was feeling great and strong again. Later that day, Brinker came into my room. He asked about what happened to Leper. I didn't really want to talk about it, I gave him the run down but nothing too in depth. Brinker immediately start complaining that two people have already been put aside in the war and unable to help in the war. I realized he was talking about Finny too, I tried to defuse the tension to not much avail.

We figured out every eligible boy in the school had enlisted for a safe branch of the military, but me. Brinker pulled me aside and said I need to stop pitying Finny and do my part for the country. He also said that it would be best for me to reveal everything about Finnys accident. I wanted to know what he mean by that, but he left.

That night, Brinker and some others took Finny and I to the the assembly hall. They had a miniature courtroom set up. They asked both of what happened at the night of Finny’s accident. We made up a fake story, I failed to make it 100% sound. Brinker asks us to get Leper to hear his testimony. Leper gave his testimony and in the middle of it, Finny cries out that he didn't care and ran off. He ran up the marble staircase and i heard a loud crash. What happened?

Chapter 12 : How to Save a Life

The Infirmary that Finny was being operated in. This place is important because this is where Finny will die.

"My aid alone had never seemed to him in the category of help. The reason for this occurred to me as the procession moved slowly across the brilliant foyer to the doors; Phineas had thought of me as an extension of himself," (Knowles. 180).

After Finny fell, everyone worked together with a purpose to help him. Someone ran to grab the Wrestling coach, who knew first aid. Then we went to get Dr. Stanpole. We carried him out on a chair. The doctor says his leg is broken again, but it is cleaner than last time. Some time later, a group of boys tried to sneak up into the infirmary to see what was happening. I wonder what was happening? I wanted to go in and talk to him, but I was scared Finny would be mad at me. After everyone left, I snuck into the Infirmary to talk to Finny. When he saw me he bursted into anger, he said I was going to come to break something else of his. I said I was sorry and left. I walked around campus feeling empty and cold the rest of the night. I was so sorry, I felt so bad.

Chapter 13: Peace of Mind

Devon donates some of its property to the army to create a Parachutes Rigger School. This is possibly the closest the war has came to these boys.

"I was on active duty all my time at school; I killed my enemy there," (Knowles, 204).

The school year was coming to an end. Devon donated some of our Commons to the military for it to become a parachute rigger's school. I am not sure how I feel about this, this brings the war a lot closer to home. Later that day, Brinker brought me down into the Butt Room to meet his dad. His dad was very adamant about the war and wish he could have joined it. When we told him Brinker and I both chose less dangerous roles in the military, he lectured us about how important is was for us to do our duty for our country. I did not really care, I just did not want to get killed in the war. After his dad left, Brinker apologized for his attitude, he blamed the older generation for this war. This war was created by the older generation and force the younger generation to fight for them. We both went our separate ways to clean out our things.

Capture the Balls

Materials: 3 Blue and 3 Red balls.

Objective: To capture all 3 of the opposing teams balls.

Rules: To capture the opposing team's balls, a player must carry a ball from the other team's base to their base. Players can pass the ball to other teammates in order to move the ball downfield. Teams may return their own balls to their base by bringing it back to their own base. Players may tackle and use force to retrieve their team's ball back. Once one team owns all 3 of the other team's ball and one of their own, they win.


Created with images by ruthe_meriele - "coffee paper background" • the bridge - "Ridley Creek State Park 9/4/09" • MrsMary - "paper scrapbook texture" • 3dman_eu - "backgrounds background structure" • Sean MacEntee - "Beach" • 3dman_eu - "backgrounds background structure" • MrsMary - "paper scrapbook texture" • ruthe_meriele - "coffee paper background" • binhob - "paper texture brown" • nikolayhg - "winter winter magic blue sky" • 3dman_eu - "backgrounds background structure" • 3dman_eu - "backgrounds background structure" • MrsMary - "paper scrapbook texture" • 3dman_eu - "backgrounds background structure" • MrsMary - "paper scrapbook texture" • urban don - "paper"

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.