The Chocolate War And Human Cruelty

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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The Chocolate War & Human Cruelty Human cruelty, it is a very sad thing but it well expressed in Robert Cormiers book 'The Chocolate War'. Though this book is fictional it upholds many strong views, and gets at many real life type points.

Jerry Renault is the main character of this book and I guess you could say he is not the most well liked kid in Trinity High school. For example, he had a lot of friends at first, being the quarterback for the football team and everything, but Jerry's life was soon to change. A secret group in Trinity High called the Vigils were a group based on intimidation, and enjoyed making peers miserable. The Vigils gave the students certain "tasks" to complete and Jerry was assigned a special one. In addition, there is a tradition at Trinity High to sell chocolates, and the Vigils got an idea for a certain task involving Jerry.

They would decide to tell Jerry to stop selling the chocolates for 10 days, and then to make him start again after the ten days were passed. Jerry accepted this mission to avoid any confrontation but he did not know what this would eventually result in. After these ten days were completed he decided to continue to not sell any chocolates because the Headmaster, Father Leon interfered with these sales.

Brother Leon did not like the fact that Jerry was rebelling so he called on the Vigils to make Jerry sell the chocolates again. For example, The Vigils again came to Jerry and told him they had a new mission for him, to again sell the chocolates. Jerry didn't want to do this so again he refused sale of chocolates, and this made the Vigils very angry. The Vigils in fact were so angry they had members of the football team assault Jerry by hitting him extremely hard. In addition, the Vigils had a lot of power and Jerry kind of under estimated it when he refused to start selling chocolates again, he didn't quite understand that the Vigils were basically in control of what the students did. When Jerry continued to not sell chocolates the Vigils under the Headmasters discretion raised money by making the school teams sell chocolates in other neighborhoods. The profits were now rising and the Headmaster was becoming extremely pleased. Soon after the Vigils decided to create a raffle contest, from which they could sell off their chocolates and get back at Jerry at the same time, but instead of standard tickets each raffle ticket represented a punch, if drawn, a blow to one of the two boys who were demonstrating would occur, Jerry and another boy named Emile were the demonstrators. Here is a quotation...

Pg. 179 "... and the kid whose written blow is the one that ends the fight , either by knockout or surrender, receives the prize...".

A senseless act of cruelty and violence.

Why do the boys of Trinity have such a thirsts to hurt each other in some fashion? I honestly think it may be human nature, there is always someone who assumes they are better than everyone else and will prove it by any means, I think this was shown in multiple ways and times in the book "The Chocolate War"