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The Chocolate War addresses manipulation, fear and ethics throughout the 1970’s in which the book was set around. Throughout the novel, through the use of characters, Robert Cormier portrays both sides of the two major themes manipulation and fear. The novel presents an understanding of the problems that go on in day to day school life at Trinity and expresses the different positions of each the students in the school.
The Chocolate War looks at how violence, authority, and speech are used to manipulate the students of Trinity into doing things they would prefer not to do. Shakedown, blackmail, mental amusements and physical discipline are some of the educational modules at Trinity High. When Jerry endeavors to slice through the control of Brother Leon and The Vigils by settling on his own decisions, his peers then begin to take after his lead. Since this undermines the power structure at Trinity, Brother Leon and The Vigils, who are in risk of losing their higher status in the school, release their most daring acts of control. The novel likewise takes a gander at how with the correct turn, something that everyone dislikes, such as selling chocolates, can be changed into the most recent fever. There are students that have no issues with manipulating the other students with acts of violent speech. “Are you perfect, Bailey? All those A’s – that implies perfection. Is that the answer, Bailey?” (Chapter 6, Page 37). This is a type of question that can not be answered without incriminating Bailey. This question is used to manipulate Bailey rather than to engage in the relevant debate.
The Chocolate War takes a look at how physical, verbal, and mental violence are mixed together to make the truly unfortunate conditions at Trinity secondary school. Throughout the novel, savagery had been used quite frequently, the savagery is a clear example of physical and mental bullying, however there’s a lot of turned personality diversions and verbal violence. At the point when one of the novel’s protagonists, Jerry Renault, declines to sell the chocolates for a school pledge drive, all havoc breaks loose. The novel closures in a free for all, of savagery and bloodlust, from which Jerry may never recuperate from. “He could hold your attention like a cobra. Instead of fangs, he used his teacher’s pointer, flicking out here, there, everywhere.” (Chapter 4, Page 23). In the 1970s, teachers still had legal power to use physical violence in the classroom. Leon makes the most of this, using the pointer to keep his students in a constant state of fear which is a clear example of the manipulation that goes on within the school.
Morality refers to personal, cultural, and social beliefs about right and wrong. Ethics is the investigation of these belief systems. A lot of the occasions in The Chocolate War are unquestionably exploitative. We can without much of a stretch see that Brother Leon, The Vigils, and Emile are exploitative individuals in themselves. They will do anything to anyone with a specific end goal to keep their places of intensity. The book additionally raises some more confounded thoughts regarding profound quality and morals. It requests that we think about how human feelings, similar to anger, dread, and pride, can influence us to do things we believe are corrupt. It makes us, as readers, precisely think about our moral obligations to ourselves as well as other people, and urges us to consider our own particular good systems and how these shape our identity. “He saw Brother Eugene still standing there in the midst of the shambles, tears actually running down his cheeks.” (Chapter 11, Page 58). Brother Eugene assumes that if the students would demolish his classroom, they’d quickly jump at the chance to devastate him. The Goober discovers that by obliging the task he perpetrates an ethical wrongdoing against himself and against Brother Eugene.
The author of The Chocolate War, Robert Cormier, makes the social and moral positions obvious to the readers therefore making it a good novel. This is seen through the positions, manipulation, ethics and fear amongst all the characters. The mental, physical and verbal violence, authority and personal beliefs of the characters represent the clear understanding of what goes on in their school life and how the fear can manipulate their decisions.
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