The Chocolate War
by Robert Cormier
The Chocolate War Chapter 25 Summary
- Jerry gets a note from The Vigils summoning him to a meeting. The note is composed of letters cut out of magazines (like a threat letter), and this strikes Jerry as both silly and creepy.
- Now he's in the storage room behind the gym with about ten Vigils. Carter and Obie are there, and Obie can't wait to see what Archie has in mind.
- Archie's sitting at a card table and he has a box of chocolates in front of him. He offers one to Jerry, and when Jerry refuses, eats one himself.
- After eating a bunch of chocolates, Archie asks Jerry how many boxes of chocolate he's sold.
- When Jerry says he hasn't sold any, Archie starts asking the other guys how many boxes they've sold. They all give high numbers. Obie knows the numbers are fake, and admires the way Archie can make them do what he wants, without even having to ask.
- Archie asks Jerry why, if all these guys are selling chocolates, he isn't.
- Jerry says, "It's personal" (25.29).
- He thinks about how well things were going for him, he had football, and he might even have a girl. He was planning on calling all five of the Barretts in the phone book, looking for Ellen Barrett, the beautiful girl from the bus stop. Now, for some reason, he feels like all that is over and gone for him now.
- Archie tells Jerry that there's no privacy here, among The Vigils. To demonstrate, he asks one of the guys how many times he masturbates in a day, and the guy says two times.
- Jerry feels himself sweating.
- Archie urges him to explain his reasons for not selling the chocolates.
- Carter, the president of The Vigils, is getting irritated with Archie's posturing. He's always trying to prove he's in charge.
- Carter is wary of this chocolate situation. He knows it has something to do with Leon, and Carter thinks Leon is as shady as they come.
- Plus, Carter sees how Archie is terrorizing Jerry with psychological games. Carter has no use for that. He's a boxer and prefers fighting to be all out in the open, where everybody can see what's going on, like in the boxing ring.
- When Archie demands an explanation for why he's not selling chocolates, Jerry says, "Because I don't want to" (25.39).
- Archie says that kids have to do lots of things they don't want to, like go to school, for example.
- Finally, Archie tells Jerry to accept the chocolates tomorrow.
- Jerry is in disbelief.
- Archie tells him that he's lucky that's the only thing he has to do. He says, "Although The Vigils don't believe in violence, we have a punishment code" (25.60). But, they aren't going to punish Jerry; they just want him to start selling chocolates.
- Obie can't believe that Archie is being all soft. He must be really scared. He thinks that maybe this will be the end of Archie. He's sure Jerry will never sell the chocolates, and here Archie is begging him. He's losing his authority.
- Abruptly, Archie ends the meeting, taking Carter by surprise. He hits his gavel on the table, and feels like he missed some important detail of the meeting. So, he hits the table with the gavel again.
- He needs to go get some exercise in the gym.
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