What Is The Character Of Leper In A Separate Peace

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The Character of Elwin Lepellier in John Knowles’s A Separate Peace

In the novel A Separate Peace written by John Knowles, Elwin Lepellier, known as Leper, is one of the main characters who are greatly affected by the World War II. The novel is written from the perspective of a protagonist, Gene Forrester, who struggles with envy and hatred within himself as well as against his roommate, Phineas at Devon High School. Although there is a severe war outside of Devon, the students are isolated and are kept in confined peaceful environment. However, the peace breaks when Leper voluntarily enlists to the war. It finally brings the reality to the boys. The students begin to realize that there is a war outside and they should be willingly serve
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During the time in the army, he would have hallucination of corporal changing into faces and he couldn't handle the environment. He could not keep up with the war emotionally and physically. We see that Leper is very aggressive in his attitude towards others and even the nature that he loved cannot calm him down after his experience in the war. This new aggressive Leper is seen in the mock court where he refuses to give the name of the person who shook the branch saying “You always did take me for a fool, didn’t you? But I’m no fool anymore” (176). Leper stood up for himself and expressed his own opinion, which he would never have done before. His speech is clear but harsh and laced with cursed words. Gene notes that “the careful politeness” () that had always characterized Leper is gone. He also cares about what other thinks of him. Since the Section Eight discharge is the worst discharge in the army, he knows that people would always look down on him. He thinks he is “screwed for life, that’s what a Section Eight discharge means” (). He cares whether he is looked upon with disgust. The army has not only changed him to behave like a lunatic but also become more aware of the world. The old Leper had eradicated and the new rude, aggressive and uncontrollable Leper was created due to the …show more content…
He is depicted as the innocent young boy who lives in his own “shell”. However, as the recruiters changes him, his way of thinking changes. The war has changed Leper to become a psychotic, rude and uncontrollable man who cannot think straight. He becomes mentally mad that old Leper is gone. Although the Leper did change, his change symbolically represents the outcomes of the war and how the boys at Devon are not ready for the war.

Leper even admits himself that he became a “psycho. I guess I am. I must be. Am I, though is the army? Because they turned everything inside out” (). The army has turned

Gene that “You always were a savage underneath. I always knew that only I never admitted it. But in the last few weeks’, despair broke into his face again, ‘ I admitted hell of a lot to myself

one day I couldn’t make out what was happening to the corporal’s face. It kept changing into faces that I knew from somewhere else, and then I began to think he looked like me, and then he…. changed into a women

psycho. I guess I am. I must be. Am I, though is the army? Because they turned everything inside out. I couldn't sleep in bed, I had to sleep everywhere else. I couldn't eat in the mess hall, I had to everywhere else. Everything began to be inside

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