Who is Brother Leon in The Chocolate War?

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Brother Leon is the vice-principal of Trinity High School, an all-boys Catholic school. He is currently acting as the headmaster of the school and is eager to make his mark at the school in the hopes that he may one day be appointed permanent headmaster. Trinity High has a yearly...

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Brother Leon is the vice-principal of Trinity High School, an all-boys Catholic school. He is currently acting as the headmaster of the school and is eager to make his mark at the school in the hopes that he may one day be appointed permanent headmaster. Trinity High has a yearly chocolate fundraising event, and Brother Leon decides to order twice as much chocolate as the previous year so that the school can earn twice as much money. What most people don't know is that Brother Leon has a secret pact with a student named Archie Costello, who is the leader of a brutal secret society called The Vigils. Brother Leon asks Archie to help him make sure all the candy gets sold. Archie agrees to help Brother Leon, but he also enjoys playing games and toying with Brother Leon, so Archie coerces Jerry—a new boy—into not selling any chocolate for 10 days. However, after 10 days, Jerry is not interested in selling chocolate at all, so the Vigils harass Jerry mercilessly with Brother Leon's full approval. Jerry subsequently gets injured in a showdown fight, but Brother Leon protects Archie, even telling him that he will look out for him the next year when he (Brother Leon) is principal.

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Brother Leon is the pale, ingratiating, and slyly venomous Assistant Headmaster.

Having seriously abused his authority at the school to purchase (way) more candy bars for the annual sale than usual, part of what drives Leon to be so strict, demanding and ultimately cruel is the fear that he will lose his job if the sale does not go well. 

It has been his decision to double the quota and the price in the annual chocolate sale, and the financial foolhardiness of this project leads him to seek a commitment of support from the Vigils.

However, it is his overbearing and domineering personality that lead him to overstep his authority in the first place.

Leon needs the help of the students to keep himself from being fired from the school, yet he maintains an abusive relationship to nearly all the students he interacts with. He knows about the boxing match at the end of the book - he is invited by Archie - and he attends the event, failing to stop the violence in the ring. 

His dark qualities make Leon a villain in the book, more sinister and negatively defined that Archie. Archie at earns some amount of sympathy from the reader, but Leon earns no sympathy.

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