The Chocolate War Analysis

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The Chocolate War
Robert Cormier presented many different themes throughout The Chocolate War for every reader to find relatable. I found this to be a read more targeted to the older demographics of young adult literature. Many of the themes presented were very mature in nature. The way Cormier introduced the themes were brilliant; every character represented a theme at some point in the book. Cormier touched on bullying (physically, psychologically and by being a bystander), power struggle, making a stance and even being passive aggressive. This read was disturbingly blunt, but true nonetheless. At least one of these characters lived within us at one point in our lives.

The harshest character in The Chocolate War was Archie Costello, assigner of the Vigils. Archie was the representation of the worse type of bully, the psychological bully. Archie had a way of manipulating people to rally up behind any cause, if it were bad and the bad thing about it was he was well aware of it. His character thrived off of having a sense of power through his manipulation. “The giggle chilled Archie who himself was considered capable of hurting little old ladies and tripping cripples.”(Cormier, 79) This was when I saw Cormier presented the element of Emile Janza (a physical bully) and Archie being both bullies but different types of bullies. This is very prevalent in today’s world, because many believe that is it not truly bullying unless it is physical; in this case the psychological aspect did more harm than the physical. In the PDF, Developing Adolescents, it states that “ moral development refers to the development of a sense of values and ethical behavior”, which was not presented in this character; instead he was selfish and wanted to get power by stepping on anyone’s back on his way to the top. In the end, Archie had “won.”

Jerry Renault would be the character I identified as being the “good guy” or more so the “accidental hero”. Jerry denied wanting to sell the...
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