The Chocolate War

by

Robert Cormier

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The Chocolate War: Chapter 33 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Archie, over the phone, chides Janza for recruiting others to beat up Jerry. Janza protests that he thought such a beating would be “psychological,” the kind of thing Archie is “always talking about.” Archie asks if Janza used “the queer pitch” on Jerry, and Janza replies that he did, and that just as Archie predicted it would, it worked like a charm. Archie replies that the surest way to get under a guy’s skin is to accuse him of being something he isn’t.
Janza longs to impress Archie in order to gain access to the Vigils, and employing a “psychological” attack against Jerry seemed to be the surest way to do so. The revelation that Archie instructed Janza to bait Jerry about being homosexual in order to get under his skin shows just how tightly controlled and prescribed every act of violence against Jerry truly is.
Themes
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Power Theme Icon
Emile asks Archie what’s next, but Archie advises Emile to cool it for now—though he is keeping Janza in “reserve” for other things that are in the works. Emile asks Archie, once more, about the picture; Archie at last admits that there never was any picture, and tells Emile to stick with him. “We need men like you,” Archie tells Emile, and Emile becomes excited at the prospect of being asked to join the Vigils at last.
Janza is so desperate for Archie’s approval—and the chance to join the Vigils and be accepted by his peers—that he does not even react violently to the news that the picture was always a fabrication. Janza, too, has been roped in and controlled by the Vigils, whether he knows it or not.
Themes
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Power Theme Icon