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Leper Lepellier Essay

1296 words - 5 pages

The Critical Analysis of Leper Lepellier In a time of war, people can experience a variety of posttraumatic stress disorders. Personality disorders and personality changes are among the most common. These personality changes prevent people from resuming the lives they had before the trauma caused by war. Not only is this evident among our World War II veterans, it is evident in John Knowles' A Separate Peace. The character of Leper displays this characteristic after he leaves boot camp. In John Knowles', A Separate Peace, the, minor character Leper, experiences a dramatic personality change, due to his traumatic experiences during World War II. A Separate Peace is broken up into three separate periods; before World War II, During World War II, and after World War II. It is in the pre-war setting that we are able to analyze Leper's mental state before the war. Leper Lepellier represents a stringent definition of the war isolationist. He does this by keeping mostly to himself and not participating in-group activities. This can be seen as Leper having a traditional outlook on life. ""¦a soft-spoken, nature-loving boy, with an old soul"¦"(Http://www.gradesaver.com/classicnotes/titles/richardiii.com Jansen 2 ). This is evident in Leper's absence in many of the boy's activities. "He knew that the boys at Devon were not always very reliable, and certainly he didn't want to take the risk of trying to be friends with them. That could mean being let down, and leper wouldn't be able to handle that " (http://www.planetpapers.com/Assets/1507.html). As the author of the book, A Separate Peace: The War Within, Hallman Bell Bryant states, "On the day that gene and two-hundred classmates volunteer to shovel snow off the main Railroad tracks, everyone except Leper signs up. Instead, Gene encounters him on a pair of antique touring skis, on his way to take pictures of beaver dams on a stream below the school, in an effort to understand better how the "˜ beavers adapt to the winter'"(Bryant 80). One could say that the beavers and Leper share a similar personality before the war but when wartime comes the beavers conform and Leper does not. This adaptation can be seen as a foreshadowing for Leper in his later life. Bryant also states, "Leper himself will be victim of the changed climate of war and peace; he, ironically, will not be able to adapt to the coming winter as well as the beavers"(Bryant 80). A sharp contrast can be seen between Leper and Gene through their actions and reactions to life before and after the war. Leper's friend Gene, one of the main characters, is a sharp contrast to Leper. Bryant states, "Genes Jansen 3 foreboding is contested to the naïve Leper Lepellier, always unaware and unprepared- the person, Gene says, "˜who was most often and most empathically taken by surprise, by this and every other shift in our daily life at Devon"(Bryant 80). Leper is a...

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