The novel begins with Gene revisiting Devon several years after graduating
to reflect on the incidents that occurred during the summer session. The first
incident that Gene recounts is when Finney and he attend a tea and Finny wears
the school's tie as a belt and dresses in a pink shirt. It indicates his dislike
of Finny's attitude toward authority. Gene remarks that Finny is the only
person who could "get away" with such an outfit.
Later in the novel, Finny creates the Super Suicide Society of the Summer
Session and places Gene and himself as the leaders. In addition he conceives
of the idea that he and Gene should jump from the tree at once. This is a
very dangerous action because they must jump outward to land in the water
or else they hit the ground. During the first jump, Gene loses his balance
and Finny grabs his arm to steady him without thinking. During another jump,
Gene jounces the limb and Finny reaches out to him for help; yet Gene allows
him to fall, causing him to break his leg.
Gene begins to feel guilty for his actions and realizes his own jealousy
of Finny. Finny refuses to acknowledge the fact that Gene pushed him out of
the tree, because it conflicts with his idea of everybody being innately good.
Yet, at the end of the novel Finny begins to accept the truth after being
questioned by Brinker. He then attempts to run away and trips down the stairs,
breaking his leg once again. During the operation, some of the bone marrow
enters his bloodstream and he dies