Chocolate War by Robert Cormier Chapters 1-9

435 Words2 Pages
Cormier’s writing is intriguing—difficult to put down, but dark and sort of scary at the same time. The book’s cover sports a photo of a dreary and someone ominous looking football field and some downtrodden football player appears in the midst of it. From the start of the story, it is obvious that things are not ideal for the people in the story. The tone seems sad, almost painfully so, since Cormier is so good at conveying the characters’ pain—physical and mental. Early on, he describes Jerry Renault’s pain as he is tackled on the football field. “…he was stunned by the knowledge that pain isn’t just one thing—it is cunning and various, share here and sickening there, burning here and clawing there.” (8) Later, emotional turmoil is described as Cormier recounts Jerry’s feelings about his mother’s passing. “His anger was so deep and sharp in him that it drove out sorrow. He wanted to bellow at the world, cry out against her death, topple buildings, split the earth open, tear down trees.” (48) Though Jerry is not the strongest of characters physically, as he is kicked around the football field often, his emotions and feelings are vivid in the writing. He comes to life in the story, and passages involving him evoke a sense of pity in the reader, since they are so incredibly strong. Just as readers finds themselves getting into the character of Jerry Renault, Cormier transitions to the point of view belonging to Archie, “assigner” and ringleader of the “Vigils”, a gang at Trinity. Archie seems scary, a character who you probably would not want to be approached by for an assignment. To those who consider themselves a part of his exclusive gang, he is an excellent reader, a guy who your association with might earn you some perks. Even so, Obie manages to view him with a level of contempt, sine he is so incredibly different from everyone else. He seems to disregard all

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