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Gene: Gene is the narrator of the novel and appears at two different time periods: as a middle-aged man re-visiting Devon fifteen years after being a student there, and, for the majority of the novel, as a sixteen and seventeen-year-old student during World War II. The novel is written in the past tense, and we assume that Gene\'s narration is triggered by his re-visitation of his old school when he is thirty-two. And although the older narrator seems long past the emotional turmoil that marked his schoolboy days, the events of his years at Devon are told as if they were occurring in the present, as if our narrator were still sixteen years old. The Gene that we encounter for the bulk of the novel is, like many of his classmates, at a liminal stage in his life-the adolescence between boyhood and manhood. This transition is further emphasized by the war, Gene being in the final years of freedom before the ravages of a world war can legally claim him. Outwardly Gene is one of the top students in his class and a talented athlete. These traits earn him respect on campus and, most importantly, the friendship of Phineas, whom Gene respects more than any of his fellow classmates. But inwardly, Gene is plagued by the darker forces of human nature, forces which prey upon the turbulence of adolescence. Gene\'s admiration and love for Finny is balanced and marred by his fierce jealousy of him, by a deep insecurity in himself, and, because of his insecurity, a need to compete with and "de...