ASP Plot Diagram

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  • EXPOSITION
  • CONFLICT
  • Because Devon ties in with the war, you see.
  • RISING ACTION
  • Gene goes back to visit the Devon school and visits two sites: a tree, and a set of marble stairs. He flashes back to his time as a student 15 years earlier, where his best friend and roommate, Finny, is a rule-breaker during the summer session that is designed to help the boys move towards the war more quickly.
  • CLIMAX
  • Gene believes that Finny is engaged in some sort of competition with him to bring Gene down to Finny’s level academically, so they can be even in academics and athletics. Gene is also jealous of Finny’s ability to get out of trouble and to break the rules. Gene finds it hard to break with rules and regulations.
  • FALLING ACTION
  • OPERATING ROOM
  • Gene is so upset with himself for doubting Finny’s genuine honesty that he knocks Finny out of the tree, shattering his leg and ending his sports career. He tries to make it up to Finny by agreeing that there is no war, and training for the 1944 Olympics. Until they find out Leper went crazy in the Army, they are able to keep up the charade.
  • RESOLUTION
  • Brinker stages a trial to bring the truth of Finny’s injury to light and to try to help Finny deal with the fact that he will never be “normal” again. Finny is so upset when he is confronted with the reality that his best friend hurt him that he runs out of the room, slips on the marble stairs, and re-breaks his leg. Gene tries to visit Finny, and Finny freaks out, wondering if Gene is there to break something else in him.
  • Gene and Finny resolve things when Gene goes to see Finny the next morning. Finny is comforted by the fact that Gene acted on an impulse, an ignorance, rather than a long-held hatred. Finny dies in surgery after Dr. Stanpole resets the bone and a piece of bone marrow travels to Finny’s heart.
  • It was such a simple, clean break. Anyone could have set it. Of course, I didn't send him to Boston. Why should I?
  • Gene and Brinker are both enlisted in the Army and the Coast Guard, respectively, as they graduate. Gene observes that many people lash out at others in order to protect themselves from their own insecurities. The only person who didn’t do that was Finny: he was the only person Gene knows who was truly honest, and who never had an internal war to fight.
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