The Chocolate War


Robert Cormier

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The Chocolate War Characters

Jerry Renault

Jerry Renault is the protagonist of the story and a freshman at Trinity High, a Catholic all-boys’ school in New England steeped in years of tradition. Jerry, whose mother has recently died, longs to find… read analysis of Jerry Renault

Archie Costello

Archie Costello is the “assigner” of the Vigils, the secret society on-campus at Trinity. Archie is a cruel, sneaky, and power-hungry boy whose ravenous desire for power and control symbolically manifests as an insatiable craving… read analysis of Archie Costello

Brother Leon

The assistant headmaster of Trinity High, Brother Leon is a slimy and devious man who may or may not be embezzling money from the school. Brother Leon is a showman who holds his classes in… read analysis of Brother Leon

Emile Janza

A school bully whose animalistic love of violence proves useful to Archie Costello. Archie is blackmailing Emile—Emile believes that Archie has a compromising photo of Emile, which shows him masturbating on school property. Though… read analysis of Emile Janza


The secretary of the Vigils and Archie Costello’s archenemy. Despite his hatred of Archie, Obie knows that Archie’s reign is uncontestable, and so he seeks to challenge him in small ways—such as calling him… read analysis of Obie
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The Goober

A skinny, quiet freshman who becomes Jerry Renault’s only friend. The Goober is given an assignment by the Vigils before Jerry. He is reluctant to carry it out, but he goes through with it—though… read analysis of The Goober


The president of the Vigils. Carter is a senior, and is very different from his right-hand-man Archie. Whereas Archie relishes psychologically torturing his assignees, Carter shies away from psychological violence—which he finds repulsive—and would… read analysis of Carter

Jerry’s Father

Jerry’s father is a widower and a pharmacist who keeps odd hours due to his demanding but dull job. Jerry’s father seems to be on autopilot since the death of Jerry’s mother, and is deeply… read analysis of Jerry’s Father

Brother Jacques

One of the brothers at Trinity. He attempts to pull Leon into line after he discovers that Leon has abused school funds to order so many chocolates, and, in the end, Jacques is the… read analysis of Brother Jacques
Minor Characters
Brother Eugene
A teacher at Trinity who is, rumor has it, so shaken up by the Vigils’ attack on his classroom—carried out primarily and reluctantly by The Goober—that he leaves the school.
A student at Trinity who is singled out by Brother Leon and used as a punching bag for one of his cruel but instructive lessons.
John Sulkey
A Trinity senior who won an award for selling the most tickets in a school raffle last year, and is determined to do well in the chocolate sale this year, too.
Tubs Casper
A Trinity boy who plans on using the funds he makes in the chocolate sale to buy his girlfriend a bracelet.
Paul Consalvo
A Trinity student who has been attempting to sell chocolates in nearby tenement buildings, but has had little luck.
Brian Cochran
The treasurer of the chocolate sale. An unpopular boy, Brian knows that there is a lot going wrong with the chocolate sale, from fudged numbers to possible embezzlement on Leon’s behalf, but is too afraid to speak up and risk falling out of Leon’s good graces.
David Caroni
A smart student at Trinity who finds himself being blackmailed by Brother Leon for information about Jerry Renault’s resistance to the chocolate sale.
Kevin Chartier
A Trinity student who has had a very hard time selling chocolates, and has even been chased down the street by a stray dog while going door-to-door.
Danny Arcangelo
A Trinity student frustrated by the chocolate sale.
Howie Anderson
A Trinity boy who, following Jerry’s example, decides to give up on the chocolate sale.
Richy Rondell
A friend of Howie Anderson who vows to stop selling chocolates after Howie does so first.
Ellen Barrett
A girl who shares a bus stop with Jerry. Jerry becomes infatuated with her and looks her up in the phone book, but fails to engage her in conversation.
Frankie Rollo
A junior at Trinity who is a troublemaker and a loner. The Vigils attempt to give Rollo an assignment, but, emboldened by Jerry’s refusal to cooperate with the Vigils, Rollo refuses, incurring the wrath of the Vigils’ president, Carter.