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The Chocolate War

             BOOK REPORT TITLE: The Chocolate War AUTHOR: Robert Cormier PUBLICATION DATE: 1974 PLACE SETTING: The story is set in New York. TIME SETTING: The story takes place in the modern day. POINT OF VIEW: The story is told in third person. THEME: The theme is fighting the establishment. Jerry is all by himself against the Vigils and, it seems, the faculty of the school, who blindly let the chocolates become their number one priority. All these forces are too much for Jerry, who is defeated in the end. MAIN CHARACTERS Jerry- rebellious kid who gets in trouble for it Archie- mastermind of Vigils, group that dominates the high school in the story. Carter- president of Vigils Goober- Jerry's friend PLOT SUMMARY: Jerry is a young, anonymous kid at a Catholic school. One day he gets an "assignment" from the Vigils, a group of upperclassmen that has much influence in the school. There is a big chocolate-selling fund-raiser in the school, and the Vigils tell Jerry to refuse to sell chocolates for 10 days, knowing he will face much scrutiny and pressure from other students. After the 10 days, however, he continues to refuse to sell. Archie, the "assigner" of the Vigils, is under pressure to get all the chocolates sold, because he agreed to get the Vigils behind it. Because of this, he puts pressure on Jerry to sell. Archie then decides to hold a raffle to sell Jerry's share of chocolates. The raffle doubles as a boxing match, one ticket entitling the holder to call one punch. Jerry ends up getting a severe beating. The episode severely undermines the Vigils' credibility, but does more damage to Jerry. EVALUATION: This is an odd, rather unlikely story of high school social status. The Vigils, and the power they hold, seem rather implausible, but it's still a rather good story. .
             Word Count: 308.

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