The Chocolate War
by Robert Cormier
The Chocolate War Chapter 23 Summary
- As The Goober and Jerry walk to the bus stop, The Goober tells Jerry he plans to quit playing football for Trinity.
- It's Wednesday and Jerry can't wait to get to the bus stop. Hopefully he'll see this girl he's been crushing on.
- He'd gotten close enough to her to see her name, Ellen Barrett, written on one of her books.
- At The Goober's suggestion, they start running, and The Goober instantly seems in a better mood.
- As they run, The Goober tries to explain why he needs to quit football.
- First, he asks if Jerry heard that Brother Eugene has left the school. Jerry's heard, but doesn't see anything significant in it.
- Jerry is already tired, not used to this kind of intense sprinting, but The Goober spurs him on.
- The Goober says that he's heard that Brother Eugene can't get over the Room Nineteen prank. He's unable to "eat or sleep" (23.20).
- Jerry tells him that's just gossip.
- The Goober says he can relate to Brother Eugene. Some people just can't take being the brunt of a mean prank, and what they did to him was definitely mean.
- They stop running and sit down on a curb.
- Jerry doesn't see how Brother Eugene and Room Nineteen factor in to The Goober's decision to quit the team.
- The Goober is having a hard time finding the words to explain the relationships. He tells Jerry, "There's something rotten in that school. More than rotten" (23.26). The Vigils have a part in it, but it doesn't end with them. The Goober says the school is "evil" (23.28).
- Jerry doesn't hear him, and asks him what he said. But The Goober thinks it sounded insane, so he doesn't say it again.
- He tells Jerry that he's no longer going to be involved in any sports or other organized school activities.
- Jerry tries to console The Goober, telling him to think of everything as "a game" (23.36). He says that Brother Eugene must've already had issues if he was that influenced by the prank.
- The Goober says, "It's more than fun and games Jerry. Anything that can make you cry and send a teacher away – tip him over the borderline – that's more than just fun and games" (23.37).
- They sit together there, and Jerry knows he probably won't get to the bus stop in time to see Ellen.
- The Goober asks Jerry to accept the chocolates.
- Jerry asks The Goober to stay on the team.
- The Goober says, "I'm not giving anything more to Trinity. Not football, not running, not anything" (23.41).
- Eventually, they get up and walk to the bus stop, but there's no Ellen.
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