Free Study Guide for The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier|
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FREE ONLINE NOTES - THE CHOCOLATE WAR BY ROBERT CORMIER
This chapter opens with discussion of The Goober running. When he runs
he is much more focused and powerful. The Goober is in Brother Eugene’s
homeroom, loosening the furniture and crying in disgust. Just when The
Goober thought he would never finish, help arrived. A group of masked
boys showed up to help him finish the job. They completed the project
in three hours.
Cormier juxtaposes The Goober’s freedom when he is running, in the beginning of the chapter, with how he feels in Brother Eugene’s classroom.
Although The Vigils are an oppressive group, they sent help for The
Goober. The reader should consider if they did that to merely speed up
the process, or to assist his peace of mind.
CHAPTER nine begins with a discussion of the death of Jerry’s mother. She died in the spring, and during her final week Jerry’s family took turns staying with her at all times. Jerry was angry when she died. His father seemed like a stranger; yet, at the cemetery they hugged and cried. That was their last moment of intimacy.
When his mother died, his father sold their house and they moved to an apartment. Jerry spent the summer on a farm in his mother’s hometown with a cousin.
Jerry comes home from school to find his father napping on the sofa. When
his father awakens, they exchange a few words about their days. As Jerry’s
dad heats the casserole made by their housekeeper, Jerry asks if all his
days are really “fine.” When his father says that everyday is about the
same in a drug store, Jerry wonders if his father’s life is that dull.
Later, Jerry studies himself in the mirror, wondering who he wants to
From this chapter, it is apparent that Jerry’s mother died the previous spring. The chocolates that Leon wants the boys to sell are also from the previous spring--they are Mother’s Day chocolates and he wants the “Mother” ripped off. This is symbolic because it will be over these chocolates, stripped of their “Mother,” that Jerry will resolve the conflict of who he wants to become. Motherless, he is no longer a sheltered child.
This chapter develops one of the main conflicts of the book: Jerry is trying to discover who he is/ who he will become. He realizes that he does not want to be like his father. Yet, he is unsure of who he wants to be.
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. 09 May 2017