The book I am rambling today is one of my random acquisitions. I picked it up at my favorite used book store because I had remembered seeing it several times at my childhood library and it was only two bucks. It had apparently fallen out into the trunk of my car where I forgot I had gotten and when I refound it I tossed it in my backpack to bring it inside. It never made it inside because I started reading it instead and WOW good job me. The book is The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier. What was it about this book that got to me? I'll tell you, but first, as always SPOILERS AHEAD!
convincing people they worth the higher price. To try and get ahead of the game Brother Leon recruits Archie to use the Vigils to get behind the sale. The Vigils are the schools secret society that seems to solely exist to assign various pranks to the younger guys. The Vigil's are pretty powerful and a kid has yet to defy them. Archie and Leon have a bit of a power struggle, resulting in Archie assigning Jerry the task of refusing to sell chocolates for ten days. Since the chocolate sale is technically voluntary, there is not a whole lot Brother Leon can do about it. Once the ten days are up everybody expects Jerry to finally accept the chocolates and start selling them, but much to everybody's surprise (including Jerry's) he continues to refuse. At first he is not sure why, only the phrase on the poster in his locker "Do I Dare Disturb the Universe" sparking any resonance, but he eventually decides he is sick of doing something, just because everybody else is, or it has always been done. As time goes by, other students start to follow Jerry's example, also burned out by always being ruled over by the top dogs. This puts Archie in the position of his precious Vigils no longer having the control over the school that they are used to. Brother Leon is also in a perilous position as he over extended the schools finances to buy the chocolate. Archie takes charge and turns Jerry from a hero to an outcast by selling all the chocolates and giving everybody else in the school credit, making it the cool thing again. He also has Jerry intimidated and even physically hurt. To reinstate his dominance, Archie organizes an event for students only where he raffles off the ability call the shots in a fight between Jerry and a thug named Emile. This results in Jerry being beat to the point of death and taken to hospital with life threatening injuries. For a minute it looks like Archie will finally get in trouble for this stunt, by Brother Leon intercedes and no consequences are seen. The book ends with Archie once again assured in his dominance and his friends/cronies questioning how long he can get away with it.
Why do you think I loved this bleak book so much? What topic get's under your skin? Does my loudness put me in the bully category?