Rachel's Reviews > The Chocolate War

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
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Oct 26, 14

did not like it
Recommended to Rachel by: for high school english. yay.
Recommended for: uh for once i have no idea. no one.
Read in November, 2002

Oh god. You know? I honestly wish I could remember cool things from high school English, but whenever my roommate and I embark down memory lane, all I whine about is this book. What can I say about "The Chocolate War?" (Spoilers ahead, folks!)

It stinks. No seriously. Jerry's musings about "disturbing the universe" (poor T.S. Eliot) put me to sleep and I honestly couldn't wait for the school's secret society to knock the ever lovin' crap out of him. I may also be missing some grand message, but I honestly don't get why this book was published... I mean, there's this secret society that RULES the school and what does Jerry do? Refuses to sell their damn chocolate and gets into a boxing match as a result, where he's pulverized. I'm all for people standing up for their beliefs and everything, but it's not as if the Vigils wanted Jerry to go on a crusade to murder kitties and puppies. Whatever. Maybe I'm getting something wrong here, because I tried to block out as much as I could about "The Chocolate War."

I'm not a prude (have you SEEN some of the books I've read) but the sexual frustration present in this novel did nothing for me. I'll go with the shallow reason and say it was because I did not want to think about Jerry's or Archie's or this random boy's desire to bone someone into the next world. *shudders*

Also I think part of my seething hatred stems from the fact that I attended a private Catholic prep school much like the one in "The Chocolate War." Imagine that!
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Don Incognito (last edited Dec 19, 2008 10:20PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Don Incognito Hello. It's unfortunate that Jerry gets no sympathy from you, because he should. He does have the same disgusting habit that most of the male characters share, but he doesn't deserve his fate. It's also true that he can't articulate a justification for refusing to sell, but the reader easily can--I can. To wit, is it laudable to participate in a fundraiser for a society as nasty as Trinity School's? It formed (or allowed the formation of) the Vigils in order to intimidate would-be political protesters; is run by the arrogant and corrupt Brother Leon; has only one apparent good guy (Brother Jacques) among the faculty, and is full of worthless and evil students in powerful positions. It wouldn't be moral for Jerry to play God by burning Trinity to the ground (my thought on what should happen to it), but withholding his school spirit might be appropriate.

Cookie I'm curious if you've read this book again since high school?

Lena your review made me laugh. :D

Carol Storm Oh God I hated this book! Thank you so much for explaining why it's so lame!

Sarah I didn't like it very much either. I can understand the message, but I could barley get through it. :/ I don't care about swearing/sexual but I found it tiring and redundant.


Mariam I think the whole point of this book went over your head so maybe you should think about reading it again. As for the references about masturbation, they were included to create a realistic portrait of life for these teenage boys, not for shock value, so people should get over it. I'm a girl and I am a big supporter of women's rights and avoid degradation of women but you need to read this story in the right context to get the author's point.

Julia Though it moved along slowly at some parts, the whole meaning of this book is to demonstrate that an act of rebellion, no matter how small, doesn't result in the downfall of authority. Unlike books such as Uglies or Divergent, this offers the grim reality: authority will always hold the power. Don't mess with authority. Jerry tried to, and Cormier displays how things would have actually turned out for Jerry in the real world: not the downfall of the evil authority, but his own downfall, making him the anti-hero in this piece. Try reading it again keeping all these things in mind; the depressing tone and mood really emphasize the reality that is life for our protagonist.

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