Leper In the book “A Separate Peace” there are many characters which are talked about and play a role in the story. The main characters Gene and Finny, short for Phineas, are what drive the whole story and are the center of the many themes and meanings derived from this book. Edwin Lepellier also known as Leper-Lepellier is not as visible as Gene and Finny, but plays a role that is essential to the story. Leper was one of those people who keep to themselves all the time and aren’t looking to be recognized.
He didn’t really talk to anyone although he spoke to Gene. Leper was always off looking for beaver dams or snails to photograph or off skiing and admiring nature. He only shows up a couple of times during the story, but seems to have importance when he does show up. In the January of the winter session Leper surprises everyone by enlisting in the United States ski troops. Leper was only a few weeks away from being eighteen. In the Butt Room, Brinker brought in newspapers with headlines about the war and made jokes about Leper’s success in the army.
“Leper sprang up all over the world at the core of every allied success” (118).
In the words of Gene “In the Shehu 2 silences between jokes about Leper’s glories we wondered whether we ourselves would measure up to the humblest minimum of the army.” Later on, Finny stopped going to the Butt Room since he thought that ” If someone gave Leper a loaded gun and put it at Hitler’s Temple, he’d miss” (119).
Although a friendship often implies many similarities, Gene and Finny also appear very different in many aspects of life. Their friendship gives the impression that at some times it was unstable, but overall it was bound to be everlasting. This companionship is a primary example of any real-life friendship of the common person. It is possible to portray many differences within a friendship, but ...
Finny also drew Gene away from Brinker and his crowd and they focused on training for the Olympics, in their own world. When Finny tells Gene to come with him to Leper’s tree jump initiation, Gene thinks that Finny is trying to ruin his studies because he thinks that Leper would never jump. The role Leper plays there turns Gene’s attention away from his school work and toward competition with finny. With Leper in the army, the boys were drawn closer to the was because now one of them was a part of it, which made the war more real to them.
Since Finny couldn’t take part in the war he made up a theory that there really was no war, it was just a big hoax run by fat old men designed to keep the young people in their places. At that time Finny started the Winter Carnival, it was all games and fun, nothing else mattered. Gene thought to himself “It wasn’t the cider that made me surpass myself, it was this liberation we had torn from the gray encroachments of 1943, the escape we had concocted, this afternoon of momentary, illusory, and separate peace” (128).
Gene gets a letter from Leper saying that he is at his “Christmas Location,” which meant he was home.
This takes the reader away from Devon and seizes the attention to the other characters. Gene was shocked at what he found, his friend changed drastically. Gene found Leper hallucinating about men’s heads on women’s bodies or the arms on a chair turning into human arms and putting horrific images in his mind. Gene, trying to Shehu 3 straighten his friend out says “Don’t tell me who’s got me and who hasn’t got me. Who do you think you ” re talking to? Stick to your snails, Lepellier” (136).
In the end when Brinker held a hearing on Finny’s accident, Leper was questioned as to what he saw that day to verify who caused Finny’s accident.
Brinker brought Leper in to get the facts, but Finny left in an outrage, crying. That was when he broke his leg again which later led to his death. Leper brought the war close to home for the Devon crew and made them see it in a way they never would have. His own actions diverted the attention to him. At the end of the book Gene states about Leper that.” … or else, like Leper, emerge from a protective cloud of vagueness only to meet it, the horror, face to face, just as he had always feared, and so give up the struggle absolutely.” (196) Leper, a minor character, helped the boys realize reality whether with his action inside and outside of Devon..
... major character, and Cliff Quakenbush. Leper Lepellier, and Brinker Hadley, minor characters. The tree represented the war for Gene and Finny, and also was the ... by Finny and almost fell; Finny grabbed his hand and helped him regain his balance. Gene's anger could be sensed when he made this ...