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Free Study Guide for The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

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In chapter ten, Brother Leon announces the chocolate sale to the school. He placed charts on the walls with each boy’s name next to a spot where Leon could record how many chocolates the boy sold.

Archie had convinced The Vigils to help, citing that it would increase their power, but as he listens to Leon’s bold rhetoric, Archie becomes doubtful. Archie decides that instead of having one kid sell his share this year, he will divide it among five. Archie feels like he is being compassionate.


This chapter sets up the power camps of Archie and Leon. Each has his own reasons for wanting the chocolate sale to be successful. Each wields considerable power. Each will manipulate the boys of the school to serve their own purposes.



This chapter opens in Brother Eugene’s homeroom, as the furniture loosened by The Goober begins to fall apart. Archie watches from the door, victorious. Brother Leon approaches the room and sees Archie, saying he know this incident is Archie’s work. Leon cannot believe that Archie would pull such a stunt after he promised to help with the chocolate sale. Archie tells Leon that he promised nothing.

As Archie walks away from Leon he sees Brother Eugene crying in the middle of his chaotic classroom.


The irony of this chapter is that Leon should be in charge of the school but he is not. Leon is acting as the head of Trinity while the head master is ill, yet Archie appears to truly be in control.

While the reader generally feels satisfaction through Archie’s triumph over the smarmy Leon, it is harder to like Archie after seeing Eugene cry. While Archie’s antics often disrupt a social order with which we may not agree, they also hurt innocent people.



CHAPTER twelve details a football scrimmage. The coach designed the scrimmage between freshman players and varsity players to show off the new guys; however, they are doing terribly.

Finally, Jerry makes a good play. Carter slaps him in approval. The coach says they might just be able to make a quarterback out of him, and calls him a skinny little son of a bitch. Jerry is thrilled, since it is well known at Trinity that the coach does not accept you as a player until he calls you a son of a bitch. When Jerry returns to the locker room there is a note taped to his locker summoning him to The Vigils for an assignment.


The reader should note the developing theme of war and battle in this novel. Sports in general, and aggressive sports such as football in particular, are often used as a metaphor for battle or war. Cormier has several chapters which are dedicated entirely to football plays. Jerry’s battle against, and subsequent victory over, Carter (also the President of The Vigils) foreshadow his later encounter with the organization. The other war references include the battle for power between Leon and Archie (such as the event in Room 19 in which Eugene was a innocent casualty) and the actual chocolate war, which will develop in the forthcoming chapters.


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