Chocolate "sale" or.....chocolate "war"? Although you describe this novel as being mainly based on simply the chocolate sale, the correct answer is more like the war of the chocolate sale. Already from the opening page of this exclusive book, where quarterback Jerry Renault is clobbered by a relentless defense, The Chocolate War is relentless in its portrayal of the vicious, sometimes violent world of high school.
Through Jerry Renault, Robert Cormier who is the author of this book, thrusts us into the tormenting world of Trinity High, an all boys prep school.
The Chocolate War isn’t all about the schoolwide chocolate sale Brother Leon presented to Trinity. The sale is part of the "war" going on through the school, but even before the sale was put out, problems already were occurring. The theme in their school was always "the students vs. the teachers". It then lowered down to "the Vigils vs. the teachers", particularly talking about Archie Castello, head and assigner of the Vigils, and Brother Leon, assistant headmaster of Trinity. These conflicts were already existing before the sale was given by Brother Leon. The characters are guided by peer pressures and the desire to please (or displease) their teachers. All of this is just a piece of the war at Trinity.
The real chocolate war all started out just as Brother Leon announced and introduced the chocolate sale that all the students were supposed to participate in.
Everyone was perfectly fine about the idea of the sale since it is held as one of the
biggest fund-raisers all year to help the school. But once Leon changed around the
expectations on the sale, conflicts around the school began to form. This year,
Brother Leon wants the entire school to sell up to 20,000 boxes of chocolate, which
means every single student is needed to sell 50 boxes each. Some of the students
were excited and motivated to sell their set of chocolates, while some only sold them
because they feared Brother Leon. Many of the students didn’t want to sell the
chocolates, but they were all afraid of what Brother Leon might do if they weren’t
involved in the fund-raiser. They all knew about the unexplained failures Leon gives
out to the students in his class. The reasons of these F’s are usually something that is
related to the sale.
... middle of paper ...
...ing match controlled by Archie.
In order for him to get the chocolates sold, he needed to get money. Although Archie hates the sport boxing, and any other activities that involve violence, as smart as he was, he knew that all the students at Trinity would love it. Jerry Renault and Emile Janza were the two who were going to be the ones fighting in the match.
Just about everyone in the school bought a raffle ticket, and the profit of the tickets
was what Archie was planning to use to pay off the rest of the chocolates.
This whole boxing match idea of Archie’s definitely doesn’t show much about the chocolate sale, but of its war. It showed the war against Brother Leon and Archie Castello. It showed the war against Leon and Jerry Renault, the war of Jerry vs. Emile Janza, and definitely the war of just the criticizing world of high school.
The word "war" doesn’t always have to be a physical war, as in deaths or literally
fighting. It can mean internal war, where not a single show of violence has to be
involved. This whole novel, The Chocolate War, takes the reader into the underworld of Trinity, where justice is ruled by just one powerful concept...intimidation.
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