A member of Gene and Finny's circle of friends at Devon, Leper is an eccentric student who enjoys communing with nature. As the other boys play sports and leap from trees, Leper photographs beaver dams and goes cross-country skiing. His shy, gentle demeanor makes his decision to enlist in the Army all the more shocking. His ensuing breakdown and desertion from military service becomes a key facet of the novel's critique of World War II, which destroyed innocent boys like Leper emotionally and physically.
The A Separate Peace quotes below are all either spoken by Elwin "Leper" Lepellier or refer to Elwin "Leper" Lepellier. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribner edition of A Separate Peace published in 2003.).
Chapter 6 Quotes
"Across the hall...where Leper Lepellier had dreamed his way through July and August amid sunshine and dust motes and windows through which the ivy had reached tentatively into the room, here Brinker Hadley had established his headquarters. Emissaries were already dropping in to confer with him."
Chapter 10 Quotes
"Fear seized my stomach like a cramp. I didn't care what I said to him now; it was myself I was worried about. For if Leper was psycho it was the army which had done it to him, and I and all of us were on the brink of the army."
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Explanation and Analysis:
The timeline below shows where the character Elwin "Leper" Lepellier appears in A Separate Peace. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...giant tree by a river with his best friend, Phineas ("Finny"), and three friends: Elwin "Leper" Lepellier, Chet Douglass, and Bobby Zane. Finny is about to jump from the tree branch... (full context)
...to help shovel the snow-covered railroad tracks along which troop transport trains ride, Gene meets Leper. Leper is on skis and is "touring" the area looking for a beaver dam. Gene,... (full context)
...the walk, Gene comments that Brinker has changed a great deal, becoming much less cruel. Leper responds that he'd recognize the "bastard" even if he turned into Snow White, but the... (full context)
...of confidence and affection as the world tumbled into war around him. Everyone else—Gene, Brinker, Leper, and Quackenbush—fell prey to the war in his own way, even though it was never... (full context)