full title The Chocolate War
author Robert Cormier
type of work Novel
genre Young adult, Fiction
time and place written Written in 1974 in Leominster, Massachusetts
date of first publication 1974
publisher Dell Laurel-Leaf
narrator There is a third person narrator.
point of view The point of view is from a third person omniscient narrator who skips from character to character, revealing a number of characters' thoughts and actions.
tone The tone in the book is largely serious and very perceptive. While Jerry is the protagonist, we get into the minds of other characters as well. The tone during passages about Brother Leon and Archie becomes sarcastic and pessimistic. The tone at the ending is dismal and hopeless.
tense Past tense
setting (time) It is unclear, only to say that it is a relatively modern time period
setting (place) Trinity school (an all-boys school), with a few scenes at Jerry's home.
protagonist Jerry Renault
major conflict Jerry's refusal to sell chocolates at the school chocolate sale.
rising action Jerry's refusal after the first ten days and The Vigils' subsequent punishment of that choice.
climax The assembly at which Jerry fights Emile Janza for the chance to get back at everyone who has punished him for his decision not to sell the chocolates.
falling action The ending of the boxing match and Jerry's subsequent realization that it is not worth it to disturb the universe.
themes Disturbing the universe; psychological warfare; the power of fear; manipulation; nonconformity; perversion; corruptness.
motifs Assignments; football; roll call
symbols Jerry's poster; the chocolates; Room nineteen
foreshadowing The Goober's disintegration after carrying out his assignment, the beatings Jerry takes during and after football practice, Jerry looking at his poster and pondering the meaning of it.