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The Chocolate War

The Chocolate War


by Robert Cormier

The Chocolate War Chapter 35 Summary

  • It's the night of the raffle and Archie can't believe how crazy kids are going for the raffle. He'd arranged everything perfectly, and all it took was a phone call to Jerry Renault, and another phone call to Emile Janza.
  • (Flashback time.)
  • First, Archie calls Jerry. It takes about fifty rings before Jerry answers, which is understandable under the circumstances.
  • Archie says, "Want to get even, Renault? […] Strike back. Get revenge. Show them what you think of their goddamn chocolates?" (35.9).
  • He can tell Jerry's listening, so Archie pitches him. He says that he wants to arrange a boxing match between Jerry and Emile Janza.
  • Jerry asks Archie how that'll help him settle the score he has with Archie.
  • Archie says he doesn't know why Jerry would have a problem with him. Sure, he gave Jerry the chocolates assignment, but Jerry turned it into something else. Archie had nothing to do with Jerry's attack either; violence isn't his style. Nope, Archie just wants to give Jerry a chance to level the playing field. After the match, everybody will be able to put all this silliness behind them.
  • And Jerry goes for it; he takes the bait. Archie thinks, "I can con anybody. I am Archie" (35.18).
  • (End flashback.)
  • Obie is all over the crowded field, trying to hear and see everything that's going on. He has to admit that Archie has created quite the event here. And he's up there in the boxing ring like the king of the event.
  • Jerry looks pale, like he's about to get killed.
  • Emile looks like a monster that has to be held back until it's time to tear Jerry apart.
  • Meanwhile, Jerry's leg has gone numb and he tries to shake it back to life.
  • He'd been dying to confront Emile Janza, and so he'd agreed to the fight when Archie had called him. Now he realizes it was a big set up – he hadn't counted on the packed house, the terrible rules. But it's too late now. Archie had known Jerry wouldn't be able to turn back now.
  • He wonders what Archie and Emile will do to people out in the world when they grow up. A scary thought.
  • Anyhow, here in the ring, Jerry agrees to Archie's rules.
  • Brian Cochran can't believe this crazy raffle. He hadn't wanted to be treasurer of the raffle, but now he's liking it OK.
  • He couldn't figure out how Archie managed to talk Emile and Jerry into doing this. Archie had explained that one guy is motivated by a hunger for violence, the other by a thirst for revenge. He says that Brian shouldn't worry about stuff like that. He just needs to worry about selling tickets.
  • And sell them he is, or, at least, the guys he recruited are selling them.
  • Emile hates always being cast as a monster or a villain. He hates that Archie keeps calling him "animal" (35.38). He's a person, too.
  • Sure he's not the greatest person in the world; he has to defend himself a lot and stay one step ahead of everybody else.
  • He thinks admiringly of how Archie fooled him with that picture. When he'd gotten mad, Archie convinced him it was somehow Renault that should pay. Now he can't wait to fight Renault. He doesn't need to call him gay either. This time, his fists will do all the talking. He wants to tear Renault up in front of the school.
  • He wishes he could believe Archie, believe that there really isn't any picture. But he's still not completely sure.

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