Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 10 - 11
During Christmas break, Gene visits Leper at his home in Vermont and is surprised
to find out that Leper has deserted. He says that the army was planning to
give him a Section Eight discharge because of his emotional instability. His
speech becomes more erratic and he begins to act in a peculiar manner. For
no apparent reason, he begins to verbally attack Gene and accuse him of causing
Finny to fall. Gene becomes furious at him and decides to leave.
When Gene returns to Devon, he is happy to again be with Finny whose leg
seems to have improved and he is now using a walking cast. Gene also seems
to feel that Finny has changed in other ways as well. He no longer talks about
the Olympic Games or that the war doesn't exist.
One day Brinker approaches Gene and tells him that it would be in Finny's
best interest if they would help him accept the reality of his physical disability.
Brinker feels that by reliving the incident, Finny would be able to put the
situation to rest.
Shortly thereafter, Brinker organizes a meeting in the Assembly Hall and
invites Gene and Finny to attend. He has arranged an audience and a panel
of judges and was planning an inquiry into the cause of Finny's fall. Finny
is the first one to speak and he tells what he remembers about the incident.
He also answers questions that the boys in the audience ask. The key question
involves establishing Gene's whereabouts at the time Finny fell. Finny says
that Gene was still at the bottom of the tree and Gene corroborates this statement
although both indicate that they aren't certain.
The one person who could clear up the problem is Leper who was present at
the time. Finny says that he saw Leper on campus a not much time elapses before
Leper joins the scene. After questioning him, Leper says that he remembers
seeing two people in the tree and that one of them shook the branch but he
refuses to name the two people.
While Leper is speaking, Finny becomes very upset and rushes from the room.
Leper's remarks are interrupted when the boys hear a thud and realize that
Finny has fallen down the stairs.
An important issue that surfaces in these chapters involves Finny's denial
of the events surrounding his accident. He refuses to believe that Gene caused
him to fall from the tree. When Brinker begins to question Finny about that
day, he runs from the room instead of acknowledging the truth.
Brinker again shows his vindictive personality by constantly pursuing the
issue of the accident and even bringing Leper to participate. It is unclear
what Brinker hopes to accomplish and why he stages the so called inquisition.