The Chocolate War

by

Robert Cormier

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Chocolate War can help.

The Chocolate War: Chapter 29 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Brian Cochran gleefully adds up the totals from the chocolate sale, excited to report the “staggeringly” inflated sales to Brother Leon and give him good news at last. Brian is uncertain as to how the numbers changed so quickly, but has witnessed the feverish salesmanship all over school and has heard rumors that the Vigils are behind the resurgence of interest. Brian knows that “more prominent” Vigils members have been bullying kids into selling chocolates, and loading up their own cars with chocolates and going off selling after school.
Brian Cochran can see very clearly what is happening—the Vigils are manipulating the chocolate sale and attempting to get the entire school back on board—but is too afraid of compromising his own new good standing within the school and within Brother Leon’s good graces to say anything.
Themes
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Tradition Theme Icon
The “creepy” thing about the soaring sales, Brian notes, is how the boxes sold are evenly distributed among all the students. Just a few minutes ago, Carter brought in a wad of money, asked to see the roster, and then ordered Brian how to distribute the sales among students’ names. Brian doesn’t think this is quite fair, but also doesn’t want to draw attention to himself.
Brian Cochran is a weapon of the Vigils, too, without knowing it. He is part of their campaign against Jerry through his reluctance to stand up for what is right—he is just part of another cruel Trinity tradition.
Themes
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Tradition Theme Icon
Brother Leon arrives in the classroom, and together the two double-check the figures. Fifteen thousand and ten boxes have been sold—there are roughly five thousand to go. Brother Leon is practically giddy. After their meeting, when Brian walks into the assembly hall to post the latest figures, he is met with cheers from the other students. Brian feels like a “hero.”
Any chance that Brian would stand up for what is right is demolished when Brian finds himself enjoying a newfound popularity amongst his classmates. He does not have to be afraid anymore due to his important role within the now-popular chocolate sale.
Themes
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Tradition Theme Icon