The Chocolate War Essay
877 Words4 Pages
The Chocolate War Many people often meet different characters in literature and in life that they admire or despise. They conclude if those characters are good or evil and at the same time they reflect on the choices and responsibilities that those characters have. From The Chocolate War I admire Roland Goubert or The Goober based on his actions. I despise Archie Costello (The Assigner of The Vigils) because of the choices that he made and also because of his actions.
I admire Roland Goubert (The Goober) the most of all the characters within this book because he is honest, loving, and a loyal friend to Jerry. In the book when Jerry was refusing to sell the chocolates, Goober felt many feelings that Jerry was feeling. For…show more content…
Brother Leon won’t let you get away with it. “ By the end of the book Goober went to the rally when he was sick and tried to see if he could help Jerry possibly before it had begun or after it was over because he knew that he had no control of the unfolding events at the present time. At the very end of the book, after Jerry got beat up by Emile Janza, Goober helped Jerry and told him, “ Everything will be alright…” That was my idea of “good”, hole-hearted, honest, loyal, polite, and most of all a person who helps people when they are in need of help. Goober displayed those traits within the choices and responsibilities that he had throughout the book. Those are the qualities that I found very appealing and admirable. I admire him to the fullest extent and I would probably do the same thing if I were in hiss position.
I despise Archie Costello (The Assigner) the most because he was a part of The Vigils and also because he was evil. My idea of “evil” is not feeling guilt when that person should feel guilt, being cruel to people and other things, and most of all a person who has pleasure when inflicting pain on someone or something, to be specific…a sadistic person. Basically Archie was the biggest evil that there was according to my standards. For example when Brother Jacques asked, “ Why did you do it to him, Archie? “ Archie replied bitterly and cruelly, “ I don’t know what you are talking about. “ That expressed
The Chocolate War is a story told laconically, in very short scenes and chapters, with brief dialogues and few descriptive passages. We first encounter the main character, Jerry, in the midst of football practice at the all-boys Catholic Trinity High School in the fictional town of Monument, Massachusetts. Jerry wants very much to make the team, perhaps partially because he has recently lost his mother to cancer. Archie, the "Assigner" and brains of a secret organization called The Vigils, watches from the stands. Obie, the secretary of The Vigils, waits with him, taking down notes of Archie's hazing "assignments." The assignments are cruel pranks and practical jokes to be performed by selected students, who have no choice but to obey The Vigils or face the consequences.
Later, Brother Leon, the acting headmaster of Trinity, calls Archie to his office and conspires with him to recruit The Vigils to help with the annual school chocolate sale. Leon is only temporarily in charge of Trinity, because the real headmaster is in the hospital. The power-hungry Leon has overextended school funds to get a bargain on the chocolates, fulfilling Archie's later comment that all people are "greedy and cruel." He wants the students to sell exponentially more boxes than the have in previous years, and at higher prices. Archie agrees to help Leon with the chocolate sale.
Archie assigns various tasks to students, including Jerry's best friend, Goober. Goober must unscrew every single screw on every single piece of furniture in a classroom (a task that would have been impossible had certain masked Vigils not shown up in the middle of the night to lend a hand), causing a raucous collapse during school the next day. The disruption so upsets the teacher, Brother Eugene, that he must go on a leave of absence. The incident fills Goober with guilt, and he begins to become disenchanted with Trinity.
Jerry's assignment is to not participate in the chocolate sale for ten days, thereby openly defying Brother Leon. He completes the ten-day run, but, having been affected by the ugly culture of deceit and cruelty around him, decides to defy both Trinity and The Vigils by continuing to refuse to sell the chocolates. This leads to heavy persecution of Jerry by The Vigils: they vandalize his property, beat him severely, and arrange for his ostracism by the community at large.
Both Archie and Leon are threatened by Jerry's defiance, feeling that they will both be destroyed if the chocolate sale fails. Archie manages to rally The Vigils into making the sale their personal project, organizing teams to sell the chocolates and make it a success. Brother Leon knows that Archie is the one responsible for this, and he allows the violence against Jerry to continue. Jerry's final punishment comes when Archie organizes a cruel gladiatorial boxing match in front of the whole school between Jerry and a bully named Emile Janza.
The fight is scripted by the spectators, who purchase tickets on which to write descriptions of the blows they want to see. The blow that wins the fight will be the winning ticket of the raffle. Janza and Jerry fight, and Jerry is outmatched by Emile's size and strength. Even though Jerry gets in some good hits, Janza stops playing by the rules and pummels Jerry mercilessly. Jerry is beaten so severely that he loses consciousness. His jaw broken, he is taken by ambulance to the hospital. Before he leaves he tells his best friend to go along with whatever Trinity and The Vigils want him to do in the future, or he may end up like him.
The main theme of this novel is defiance of authority. The story is told in extremely simple language, without slang or regional affect to taint the descriptions of typical adolescent interactions. There are no female characters, and the story is about the boys and the school, rather than their families or lives outside of Trinity. It is a raw, emotional book, full of realistic and sometimes graphic detail.