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Free Study Guide for The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

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FREE LITERATURE NOTES - THE CHOCOLATE WAR BY ROBERT CORMIER

CHAPTER 32

Summary

Jerry makes it home, embarrassed about what has been done to him. He takes a warm bath and hides in his room. He is badly hurt. He receives another one of the taunting phone calls. Later, there are voices from outside his house, calling his name. The people outside are chased away by the building’s custodian.

At 2:30am the phone rings again. Jerry and his father both wake to get it. Jerry’s dad says he will report the calls to the phone company in the morning. Jerry is still in a great amount of pain, but decides not to tell his father what has happened.

Notes

In this chapter we see how Jerry, who is doing the right thing, must suffer for what he believes in. Even though Jerry is beaten senselessly, he feels ashamed. This type of guilt is similar to the guilt we have seen previously in the novel; guilt normally inflicted by the Church. This guilt from Jerry’s physical wounds is obviously unfounded. Likewise, though far more subtle, the guilt inflicted by the Church is also unfounded because it is the result of human nature--something also not the “guilty” party’s fault.



CHAPTER 33

Summary

This chapter is a phone conversation between Archie and Emile. It becomes apparent that Archie asked Emile to call Jerry queer and rough him up a little. Archie is not happy that Emile involved other people; he did not want it to be a gang situation.

Archie tells Emile there is no picture and to stick with him because he can use people like Emile.

Notes

In this chapter we see how Archie continues to play Emile. Archie apparently blackmailed Emile into hurting Jerry, though one must doubt Emile needed that much encouragement. Archie continues to be the psychological bully--it was his idea to call Jerry a queer, because he knew it would get under his skin since he is not homosexual. Emile, conversely, thought it would be clever to involve other guys in beating up Jerry. Archie does not agree.


CHAPTER 34

Summary

The next morning Jerry feels like a ghost at school. People step far out of his way and avoid him. His locker has been cleaned of the mess. As the day passes everyone, even the teachers, act like he is invisible.

Brian Cochran is thrilled to tell Leon that the sale is finished, 98% has been turned in. He tells Leon that, oddly, 19,950 boxes have been sold. This is odd because, usually, some boxes are lost or damaged. Yet, this year it is exactly fifty short--the fifty not sold by Jerry.

Archie tells Obie that there will be a special assembly the next night; there will only be students, no teachers. Archie has the remaining fifty boxes and he plans to give Jerry the chance to get rid of them by raffling them off.

Notes

The rising action of this novel began in chapter twenty-seven, where Obie believed that Jerry would be Archie’s downfall. The action quickly escalated when the students became interested in the sale: Jerry had to explain why he would not sell; he got prank calls; he was beat up. Now the rising action is about to erupt into a climax.

 

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