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The Chocolate War

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The Chocolate War

Jerry Renault is the protagonist of the story. Jerry decides that he will disturb the universe. He single handedly takes on the biggest bullies in his school universe, The Vigils and Brother Leon a crooked teacher. Jerry's actions speak louder than words, and for a protagonist he is very quiet. Jerry surprises us because he does not always appear to be as strong as his actions suggest that he is. He is beaten up and traumatized, and never says a word. He could have talked to his father or even the police after Emile Janza first beat him up, and also after receiving all those crank phone calls, but he stayed quiet.

Jerry's choice to not sell the chocolates even after his Vigil assignment was over began his downward spiral. The action is brave and it comes from within. Jerry did not anticipate refusing the chocolates, he just does. Other students start admiring him, and Jerry feels good about himself, at least for a while. He also feels that the poster in his locker is a light of hope for him, and throughout the book establishes his decision to go against the norm.

Jerry's last decision is to take part in the boxing match. It is not clear if he does it simply to get the whole situation over with, however he fails to see the potential danger he might be putting himself into. Maybe Jerry thinks that if he chooses not to go he will eventually fight with Janza anyway. In the end Jerry comes to the realization that it is not worth it to resist or refuse and that he has learned that the easiest thing to do is to not try to disturb the universe, but to do what he is told to do.

Archie Costello is the antagonist of the novel. Archie is the leader of The Vigils and he specializes in designing psychological punishments for the students at Trinity. Archie is a cruel character, and his cruelty reaches levels that are quite unbelievable. He manipulates anyone who stands in his way, or even anyone he simply decides would be fun to manipulate. He manipulates everyone in The Vigils to supporting all of his plans, he manipulates every student who gets an assignment, Brother Leon, and he even manipulates all of the students at Trinity. Archie's supreme understanding of people comes from an unknown source, but his talent lies in determining what will hurt a person more.

A theme in The Chocolate War which is also a conflict is Jerry disturbing the universe. Jerry disturbs the universe through out the book, and he also challenges it. The universe is the world created by Trinity and The Vigils. The Vigils are strong enough to impact the natural order of things, and a large part of their power grows from the fact



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