The chocolate War by Robert Cormier


This novel was encouraged by an even in Robert Cormier's own life when his kid refused to market chocolates in his college. However, the outcome was not like the novel, but Cormier used this as motivation to write by what can happen if something completely different occurred at his refusal. The mental health tactics used in the book makes the novel disturbing and controversial. As a young adult literature novel, the themes or templates of specific protests and level of resistance are an importance way to present this to students.


This novel occurs in Trinity High School, an all-boy Catholic institution. Jerry Renault, a freshman who has lost his mom, reunites with the school gang, The Vigils, who specialize in making tasks that other students must complete. The goal of these assignments is to impose as much psychological damage as you can. Jerry's project is to refuse advertising chocolates at the institution chocolate sales for ten days, even though Archie Costello, assigner with the Vigils, told the headmaster of Trinity Sibling Leon that he and the gang would help in any way for the success of the deal. At Jerry's refusal to sell the chocolates, everyone initially was amazed. Eventually, it is recognized that this Vigils are behind it and everyone is planning on that at the tenth day, Jerry accepts the chocolate. However, at such awaited day, Jerry still refuses which makes Sibling Leon enraged. ONCE THE Goober, Jerry's good friend who experienced one of The Vigils projects, asks him why he refused, Jerry says he doesn't know. He was influenced by the poster that was at his locker having said that: "SHOULD I dare disturb the world?"

The Vigils, considering Jerry's refusal as disobedience of the task, demand Jerry to meet with them and tell him to simply accept the chocolates. Jerry still declines and he becomes somewhat of the hero in college, and soon, other students are refusing to sell the chocolates as well. When the sales drop, Sibling Leon gets annoyed and accuses Archie of disrupting the sale by causing Jerry's task. With this, Archie chooses to make the sale popular and put Jerry as an outsider. The chocolates can be purchased fast and students, who have not really sold chocolates, are receiving scores as if that they had. When Jerry continues refusing selling any chocolates, The Vigils start making his life difficult by doing prank-calls, swiping research projects, trashing his locker and making kids beat him up after basketball practice.

All the chocolates can be purchased except Jerry's, making Archie want to get back again at him. He packages a student-only assembly to raffle off the tickets. The raffle puts Jerry against school thug Emile Janza in a boxing fight, where the students who raffle the seat tickets write how and where Jerry should hit Janza or vice versa. Both of them are hitting the other person as directed. An associate of this Vigils, then, removes a raffle solution that shows Janza to punch Jerry in the groin. Jerry can stop the punch leading to Janza never to follow any rules. He punches Jerry over and over until he comes down, the lights in the stadium go off and Sibling Jacques can stop the wedding ceremony. Before Brother Jacques could punish Archie, Brother Leon, who was simply there from the beginning watching, ensures he isn't. As Jerry waits for the ambulance, he explains to his friend, The Goober, never to disturb the universe because it is not worthwhile. Archie shows no regret for days gone by, while Jerry is left with no expect the near future.


In this novel, the writer provides qualifications and description by activities and thoughts.

His work could be considered very controversial, considering he places church principles extra to personal gain and self-perpetuation. A symbolic theme in the novel is Cormier's use of figure names, which do tend to foreshadow a few of the characters actions and situations. By offering different types of students, if they are the main character types or not, Cormier widens the appeal of the book and helps it be easier for visitors to associate of sympathize with the situations of the novel. The idea of view of the storyline is third person, limited omniscient which the author has usage of some of the character's thoughts. This helps the students understand the character's activities and why they are doing what they do. The ambiance or build of the novel is serious, closest on disturbing which, in ways, foreshadows the novel's situations and final results. In the book, young people deceive and control the other person and the individuals don't provide them with positive examples to check out. The discord in this book is commonly very general. We see the person-against-self, in which displays on Jerry's turmoil of feelings; the typical person-against-person conflict that we see between Jerry as well as the Vigils, Jerry and Archie and Jerry and Emile; and the person-against-society which is the Jerry's struggle with the whole college and how he's segregated from everyone.

The most significant theme is the arriving of age, in which shows how Jerry expands emotionally throughout the whole novel and how his values change. Other styles are fear, vitality, individualism, peer pressure and assault and cruelty. Jerry's poster is a symbol of what he does indeed and how it will impact his life of the fact that refusing the chocolates takes durability and courage. Furthermore, the chocolates that have been originally Mother's Day chocolates are symbolic because it will be over them that Jerry will solve the conflict of who he wants to become, without his mom. It really is a book that can be grasped in the framework of outsiders in any environment.


Cormier's attempts to convince young adults of the corruptness and cruelty of their peers as well as the mature phrase is something that is considered controversial and that could be a problem for parents and teachers. I believe, however, that his views on the modern culture are very essential in young adults because it can make them acknowledge the reality that they could encounter. Cormier's book reflects an effort to persuade functions of conscience and personal courage which make me see that, whether students will be considering reading the novel or not, it continues to be among inspiration to students who may have difficulty in doing what they think is right. However, at the end of the novel, Jerry believes that "disturbing the universe" was not worth it, which makes Cormier's view change from mine. I believe people should always stand up for what they have confidence in, and it should not matter what others think.

Literary Theories

Archetypal Approach


A lot of factors cause Jerry to do something the way he will and the key reason is that he is enforced because of the Vigils to reject the chocolates. He's motivated by his area and by others to take action. He is separated from his life and typical thoughts with the Vigils and serves upon what they want.


The decision to not sell the chocolates is the initiation to Jerry's quest in the book. Jerry understands that his serves aren't well received by Sibling Leon or The Vigils, in simple fact, but continues to stand up to them. His courage is what becomes him into a hero. His actions are not to save the world or to do something which can only help other; they are to take a stand against bad or unjust cause, making his take action heroic. Despite all the road blocks or evil causes that stand in his way, he sustained to combat.


Jerry's frame of mind changes when he became aware that he couldn't get away with expressing "no" to the delicious chocolate deal. His refusal upset people and by the end of the novel, he involves realization after his is beaten up by another pupil and nearly everyone at college hates him. He couldn't change the results of the cruelty and assault in university. His journey modified him and he, in truth, grew emotionally. However, at the same time, he returned to the beginning of letting others influence his activities and values.

Psychological Approach

Jerry Renault

Jerry's actions speak much more than words and demonstrate durability. His decision never to sell the chocolates is the ID from his personality. He's motivated by others to take action, which is a decision to cause pleasures to others. His rapid decision never to acknowledge the chocolates following the assignment has ended is area of the ID as well because, initially, it is merely an impulse on his part; he is not completely sure why he does it. After The Vigils harass him, he hangs to that decision, even though he is aware it is better to simply accept the delicious chocolate. Now, the Ego gets control the Identification because he's doing what he seems is right. The Superego overtakes his personality because he begins to check out his conscience and keep taking a stand to evil. By the end of the novel, however, the ID affects in his personality because his impulse is never to dare to disturb the world and simply do what he's likely to do.

Archie Costello

Archie manipulates everyone by being cruel and locates it fun to take action. He understands people, but he uses that to determine what will hurt the person most. He has control over everyone, even Brother Leon, and is aware how to do something upon it. The ID completely overtakes in his personality because he functions on impulse and on what will satisfy him. He assigns The Goober to unscrew everything in Sibling Eugene's classroom, but transmits two Vigils to help him do the job. His responsibility was to help Sibling Leon on the sales, but he assigns Jerry to not admit the chocolates, which in the end, damaged the sales. Later, he determines to help make the deal popular and sell all the chocolates, placing everyone against Jerry. Everything he does is on impulse and for his own satisfaction.

Brother Leon

Brother Leon is merely as calculating so that indifferent with the price of his activities as Archie is. Brother Leon uses Archie for vitality and protection and recognizes that if The Vigils are behind the deal, his actions will relatively be shielded. In his personality, the Identification gets control completely. He loves watching Archie change and control everyone, for he is just the same. He does not act because he discovers satisfying punishing people, but also because he would like to get control over the institution.

The Goober

Same as Jerry, his decision to follow The Vigils' task is part of the Identification because he acts on impulse, or alternatively, on gratification on what others want. His decision to quit the sports team is area of the Ego; because he recognizes reality settling in, specially when he finds out Brother Eugene has supposedly been moved, and knows how the assignment he did afflicted Eugene's life. Somewhere along the way, the Superego gets control because he recognizes that "it was a cruel thing to do to a guy like him", considering that which was right or incorrect.

Emile Janza

Emile operates his own way of cruelty by using physical violence, instead of mental, like Archie does indeed. This definitely is area of the Identification in his personality because he serves for his own satisfaction or just following others orders. He was being blackmailed by Archie, and that was one of the reasons behind his actions. The photo that Archie advised him he previously was the one which he supposedly needed when he found Emile in the bathroom masturbating. This step can be considered as area of the ID since it was done over sexual drive. By the end, he beats Jerry over and over again, which makes the ID overtake in his personality.


Obie hates what Archie does to the people, but he does not speak out against him. The actual fact that he recognizes exactly what Archie does could be the reason why he will not speak of his thoughts and opinions; maybe he is worried. What he does indeed for Archie or The Vigils is part of the Identification because, like others, he does indeed what others tell him to do. However, the Superego comes when, for a moment, he feels bad for Jerry and the fact that his mom died. He does not agree with Archie when he picks Jerry for an project, when only just lately, he has lost his mother. The ID involves picture again when he, on impulse, attempts to reunite at Archie with the dark box at the end. Archie cannot back again out because everyone is seeing, and Obie seems satisfaction. Obie is outsmarted by Archie each time, though, and he does know this, which just seals his association while using Vigils and Archie.

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