The Finny Factor
Phineas's death is the repercussion of Gene's rivalry with him. Gene is convinced that he and Finny are rivals, and that Finny is trying to undermine his success. Gene shook the tree limb, causing Finny to fall, and eventually to die. Gene is not the only factor in Finny's death but he begins a domino effect leading up the unfortunate accident which causes Finny's death.
Finny is a fortunate boy, he had all the qualities of an athlete. Gene is good student and works hard for his grades. Finny loves life, and spends every day trying to live his life to the fullest. Gene lives like a conspiracy theorist; believing that Finny has plans to ruin his academic success. Finny is the popular kid at school, and whatever he says is law. The kids at Devon looked up to Finny, and Gene, being Finny's roommate, was carried up the high school hierarchy along with him.
Unfortunately for Finny, Gene was jealous of Finny's skill, and he thought that Finny was jealous of his achievements towards being valedictorian. Gene thought that they were equals, and that Finny was trying to sabotage his grades by creating the Super Suicide Society. Things that Finny thought Gene wanted to do, like going to the beach, and going to the tree, were the same things that made Gene go crazy. Gene envies Finny's abilities, and saw to it that he would be as smart as Finny was athletic. Finny does not realize the stress that he is causing Gene. That fateful day in the tree, Gene goes into a state of temporary insanity and he bounces on the limb. High above the riverbank Finny loses his balance and plunges into mortal peril. However, this is not the cause of his...