Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Robert Cormier's The Chocolate War. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Chocolate War: Introduction
The Chocolate War: Plot Summary
The Chocolate War: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Chocolate War: Themes
The Chocolate War: Quotes
The Chocolate War: Characters
The Chocolate War: Symbols
The Chocolate War: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Robert Cormier
Historical Context of The Chocolate War
Other Books Related to The Chocolate War
- Full Title: The Chocolate War
- When Written: Early 1970s
- Where Written: Massachusetts
- When Published: 1974
- Literary Period: Contemporary
- Genre: Young adult fiction; realism
- Setting: New England
- Climax: Jerry Renault faces off against his bully Emile Janza in a boxing match in front of the entire school.
- Antagonist: Archie Costello; Emile Janza; Brother Leon; tradition
- Point of View: Close third person, tracking many different characters at various points
Extra Credit for The Chocolate War
Banned. The Chocolate War is one of the most frequently-banned contemporary young adult novels. The book’s reckoning with its young male characters’ budding sexualities as well as their unsettling drives towards violence and coercion—not to mention the insidious and even evil school administration, which contributes to the novel’s sense of hopelessness—is often seen as too “adult” for students who are the very same age as the characters within the text.
Beyond the Chocolate War. In 1985, Cormier published a sequel to The Chocolate War, fittingly called Beyond the Chocolate War. The novel introduces new characters to Trinity High, and tracks the fallout of the “war” Jerry inspired and the ongoing moral and intellectual power struggle between Obie and Archie.