Study Guide

Ellen Barrett in The Chocolate War

By Robert Cormier

Ellen Barrett

The love interest! OK, well, don't get your hopes up. This would-be romance fizzles out in the time it takes Ellen Barrett to playfully call Jerry a "pervert" and say the word "crap." Instead of talking to her at the bus stop, Jerry spies her name on her book and finds her number in the phonebook. When he calls her, she can't wrap her mind around what he's saying. She thinks some guy named Danny is playing a prank on her.

This scene helps us see how isolated Jerry is from girls and how awkward he is with them. He thinks about girls all the time, but doesn't have any opportunities to hang with them. He's built up a fantasy in his mind of what girls are supposed to be like – pure, angelic, and lacking in bad words. When he hears Ellen talking like a regular kid on the phone, the fantasy falls flat.