Reputation In Robert Cormier's The Chocolate War

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Robert Cormier explores the unavoidable ideas of reputation, manipulation, power and violence through his captivating teenage novel “The Chocolate War.” These four components of the novel are deeply analyzed and scrutinized through the protagonist and antagonist in order to leave the reader thinking about their lives and the world around them. Cormier uses the idea of reputation throughout his novel to highlight both the emotion of which the protagonist, Jerry endured whilst he contemplated “disturbing the universe,” and the effect of his actions. Jerry’s father was an extremely dedicated and driven man who had built a successful name for himself as a pharmacist, although both his job and his lack of daunting life experiences overpowered…show more content…
Cormier highlights this idea in chapter 31, when Emile Janza and his group of “friends” crowd around Jerry outside the school gates. They begin interrogating Jerry although he pretends to ignore their presence in a plead for them to leave him alone. This however infuriates the students leaving them unsatisfied with Jerry's behaviour, this subsequently leads them to violence, the boys launch themselves at Jerry and begin physically harassing him “A dozen fist pumps meled his body, fingernails clawed at his eye. They wanted to blind him, they wanted to kill him.” (Chp. 31 p.g 213.) The author uses personification to describe the force and harshness in their actions, by doing this Cormier is successfully incorporating both visual and kinesthetic imagery into the quote as the reader is now exposed to both an image and a feeling of the painful sensation being experienced by Jerry. The use of Hyperbole in the line “They wanted to blind him, they wanted to kill him.” exaggerates the purpose of their doings. The students did not want Jerry dead they wanted him aware of the consequences he will be faced with if he continues denying selling chocolates. Cormier's
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