Name: Savannah Ross
Category or Genre: young adult fiction Part II Author: Robert Cormier Illustrator: N/A Title: The Chocolate War Publisher: Laurel Leaf Copyright Date: 1974 Number of Pages: 263 Classification/Subjects in which book fits (general and specific)
Mob Cruelty FictionChristian/Catholic School
Young Adult All Boys Prep SchoolChocolate Sales
Characters (with ages)
Jerry Renault – 14 or 15 (he’s a freshman in high school) – Jerry is the protagonist of the novel. He is sentenced by the Vigils to not sell any chocolates for ten days and continues the assignment even though it ended. Jerry challenges the Vigils by disobeying their next assignment for him. I would describe him as defiant and unwavering in his decisions.
Roland Goubert (The Goober) – 14 or 15 (he’s a freshman in high school) – The Goober is a rather reluctant and gentle person, not wanting to start anything. Unfortunately for him, he is instructed by the Vigils to unscrew all the screws in Brother Eugene’s classroom. Goubert is devastated by Eugene’s reaction and the fact that he caused Eugene to break down.
Archie Costello – 17 or 18 (senior in high school) – He is the Assigner and unofficial leader of the Vigils and the antagonist of the novel. It’s Archie’s job to come up with the assignments to torture, entertain, and control the student body of Trinity. He is hated and admired by all. He is cruel, controlling, clever and my favorite character of the novel.
Brother Leon – 30s or 40s – Leon is the assistant headmaster of the school. When the headmaster gets sick and is in the hospital, Leon steps in. To his superiors, Leon appears to be a pushover, a weakling. However to his inferiors/students, Leon is ruthless. He rages psychological warfare on his students, toying with them. Leon doubles the price of the chocolates and the number to be sold.
John Carter – 17 or 18 (senior in high school) – Carter is the official president of the Vigils, even though Archie is seen as more of the leader than Carter. He is a star on the football team and a straightforward bully. Carter prefers violence and physically harming someone, rather than mess with their heads.
Obie – 16-18 (teenager at Trinity, not sure what grade) – Obie serves as the errand boy for the Vigils. He records everything about everyone in the school. His notebook is said to be “more complete than the school’s files.” Obie alternately hates and admires Archie. In the beginning when Archie and Obie are first introduced, Obie starts out hating him.
Brief Plot Summary
The novel starts with Jerry trying out to be the quarterback on the freshman football team. Archie and Obie are lounging up on the bleachers, coming up with assignments for various students of Trinity. The next day Archie has a private conversation with Brother Leon, concerning the school’s yearly chocolate sale. This year Leon has doubled the quota each student must sell and the price the chocolates are sold for. Now everyone must sell fifty boxes for two dollars each. Leon persuades Archie to get the Vigils to back the chocolate sale. After that Jerry is assigned by the Vigils, which is a secret organization that controls the student body, to not sell any chocolates for ten whole days. This shocks Leon and the rest of the students. Not too much later, Archie catches Emile Janza “enjoying” himself in the bathroom and pretends to take a picture of the event. Archie uses this picture to blackmail Emile. Soon Jerry’s ten days of not selling the chocolates is up. Yet Jerry continues not to sell them. This threatens the success of the chocolate sale and Leon’s control of the school. Students are...