A Separate Peace Chapters 9 and 10 Summary

     In chapter nine Gene learns that Leper has joined the war, which seems completely surreal. Leper had seen a video of soldiers on skis, and it convinced him to join up after Christmas. Leper had been a few weeks away from his eighteenth birthday anyway, so he chose to join the ski troops instead of being drafted into a random service. One day in the Butt Room, Brinker read an article in the newspaper about an attempt to kill Hitler and announced it must have been Leper. The stories about Leper grew, but Finny refused to contribute. He continued to pull Gene away from the other boys to train for the 1944 Olympics.

     As winter became more depressing, Finny decided to organize a winter carnival. Brinker, who had slowly dropped all of his extra-curricular activities at Devon, agreed to help. He helped hid seventeen jugs of hard cider in the snow in the park. Prizes were displayed, such as Finny's icebox, a dictionary with the dirty words highlighted, barbells, the Iliad with an English translation above each sentence, pictures of Betty Grable, and more. Finny sat in a chair behind this table. Finny decided the games must begin with a traditional fire, so he lithe copy of the Iliad. The boys guzzled cider as they attempted the ski jump. Finny made Gene to walk on his hands after he announced his plan for him to qualify for the Olympics. When a telegram arrived for Gene, Finny grabbed it, saying it must be the Olympic committee. Instead it was from Leper telling Gene he had escaped from the war, and he needed to see him.

     Chapter ten starts with Gene explaining how he made a long journey to see Leper, which would parallel his military journeys over the next year during his army career. Gene knew that Leper was at home even though he had written the "Christmas location" on the telegram, so others wouldn't realize. Leper appeared quite unstable when Gene saw him. He was constantly on the verge of tears and would yell without warning. Gene wanted to find out exactly what Leper had "escaped" from, so Leper accused Gene of thinking he was crazy. Leper finally admitted that they were going to give him a Section Eight discharge, which is what they give the psychos, but he knew that would ruin his chances of gaining employment. Leper then turns on Gene and states that he always knew Gene was a savage underneath. He confesses that he knows Gene knocked Finny out of the tree, which makes Gene jump up and come after him. Leper's mom hears the noise and charges into the room. Gene apologizes and says he should leave; however Mrs. Lepellier insists he stay for lunch, so he does. Then she suggests the boys take a walk. Leper tells Gene he was "nervous in the service," which Gene says sounds like one of Brinker's poems. Leper then starts to cry. He admits that maybe he is psycho; he didn't fit in with the army. As Leper gives Gene the details, Gene asks him to stop. Gene doesn't want to hear about it, so he turns and leaves Leper to tell his story to the wind.

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