Why is it surprising that Leper is the first Devon boy to enlist, and how is he different from the other boys who talk of enlisting?

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Leper is different from most of the other boys because Leper could best be described as a naturalist and/or idealist.  He is a peaceful and quiet kid that enjoys spending time in nature and collecting snails.  Nothing really upsets him, either.  He's not easily angered, and he isn't likely to react on sheer instinct to a changing situation.  He's a pensive and methodical thinker.  He's also a bit of an old soul.  I wouldn't say that he's against change or technology, but there are times when Leper lets it be known that he thinks new inventions are ruining his favorite activities.  It's why he speaks up against downhill skiing.  

They're ruining skiing in this country, rope tows and chair lifts and all that stuff. You get carted up, and then you whizz down. You never get to really look at the trees, at a tree. I just like to go along and see what I'm passing and enjoy myself.

Oddly enough, it's the war propaganda film about skiing soldiers that probably does the most to convince...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 703 words.)

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