Gene Forester is the narrator and the protagonist of the novel. At the opening of the novel, he is a man at the age of thirty who remembers his time as a student at a private educational academy called the Devon School. As a student, he was extremely clever and competed for the Victorian. He was also sensitive and very competitive, especially with his roommate and best friend Finney, whom he met during the summer session in his first year in Devon. In fact, the relationship between Jeanne and Finney can be described as a hatred of love.
Sometimes Gene loves and admires his friend so much that he really wants to be him and even puts on Finney's clothes. On other occasions, Gene feels incredible outrage at Finney’s athletic achievements or social achievements, imagining that Finney felt equally competitive and tried to sabotage Gen’s academic success. At the end of the summer, this outrage is so widespread that Gene consciously or unconsciously drops Finney from a tree, breaking his leg and destroying his sports career. The divided world reads like a long diary in which Gene is trying to find out what happened between him and Finney in Devon this summer and with what has happened to him since then. You never know how successful Gene is in this business, and he should be considered an unreliable narrator.
Gene Forester in the Essays