While Finny clings to the friendship, Gene makes an attempt to sever it. For while he may wish to mimic or even transform himself into Finny, he finds it too painful to maintain a connection to him as a separate person, to confront Finny and his injury from his guilty position. Structurally, Chapter 5 mirrors each of the two subsequent chapters, in which Gene formulates a plan that would cut his ties with his best friend, only to be thwarted by Finny or Finny’s memory. Here, he wishes to confess to knocking Finny from the tree and thus destroy their friendship once and for all, but Finny refuses to accept the confession. In the next two chapters, Gene first attempts to give up athletics by managing the crew team and then plans to leave school and join the army. In each case, though, Finny—or thoughts of Finny—undercut Gene’s plans. He appears not to realize Finny’s influence; or perhaps, the novel suggests, he is glad that it is happening—glad, on some fundamental level that he cannot ultimately separate himself from his friend. All of Gene’s attempts at severing the relationship fail and the friends sink into complete codependency, a process that begins in this chapter.