The Chocolate War

by

Robert Cormier

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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 prefer the Vigils to maintain their stronghold on the school through hushed-up physical retribution against defectors and dissenters.

Carter Quotes in The Chocolate War

The The Chocolate War quotes below are all either spoken by Carter or refer to Carter. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Ember edition of The Chocolate War published in 2004.
Chapter 25 Quotes

Carter blew air out of his mouth in exasperation. He was losing patience with Archie's cat and mouse crap. He had sat here for two years watching Archie play his silly games with kids, having Archie act the big shot as if he ran the show. Carter carried the responsibility for the assignments on his shoulders. As president, he also had to keep the other guys in line, keep them psyched up, ready to help make Archie's assignments work. And Carter wasn't crazy about this chocolate stuff. It was something beyond the control of The Vigils. It involved Brother Leon and he didn't trust Leon as far as he could throw him. Now, he watched the kid Renault, looking as if he was ready to faint with fright, his face pale and eyes wide with dread, and Archie having fun with him. Jesus, Carter hated this psychological crap. He loved boxing where everything was visible—the jabs, the hooks, the roundhouse swings, the glove in the stomach.

Related Characters: Carter (speaker), Jerry Renault, Archie Costello, Brother Leon
Related Symbols: Chocolate
Page Number: 162-163
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 36 Quotes

“I don't know how you do it, Archie," Carter was forced to admit.

"Simple, Carter, simple." Archie reveled in the moment, basking in Carter's admiration, Carter who had humiliated him at The Vigils meeting. Someday he'd get even with Carter but at the moment it was satisfying enough to have Carter regarding him with awe and envy. "You see, Carter, people are two things: greedy and cruel. So we have a perfect set-up here. The greed part—a kid pays a buck for a chance to win a hundred. Plus fifty boxes of chocolates. The cruel part—watching two guys hitting each other, maybe hurting each other, while they're safe in the bleachers. That's why it works, Carter, because we're all bastards.”

Carter disguised his disgust. Archie repelled him in many ways but most of all by the way he made everybody feel dirty, contaminated, polluted. As if there was no goodness at all in the world. And yet Carter had to admit that he was looking forward to the fight, that he himself had bought not one but two tickets. Did that make him like everybody else—greedy and cruel, as Archie said?

Related Characters: Archie Costello (speaker), Carter (speaker), Jerry Renault, Emile Janza
Related Symbols: Chocolate
Page Number: 231
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Chocolate War LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Chocolate War PDF

Carter Character Timeline in The Chocolate War

The timeline below shows where the character Carter appears in The Chocolate War. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2 
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Power Theme Icon
...tasks on Archie’s behalf. Obie is the secretary of the Vigils, and the organization’s president, Carter, has tasked Obie with keeping Archie happy; “when Archie’s happy,” the president once told Obie,... (full context)
Chapter 5
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Power Theme Icon
Tradition Theme Icon
The president of the Vigils, Carter, pulls a small black box out of a desk. Inside the box, Archie knows, are... (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Power Theme Icon
Tradition Theme Icon
...and selects a marble; it is white, and Archie feels a renewed burst of invincibility. Carter snaps his fingers, and the meeting is adjourned. Archie gets an empty feeling inside. He... (full context)
Chapter 12
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
...as quarterback, gears up for one more play, determined to get it right—and get past Carter, who is a larger, older, better football player. (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Tradition Theme Icon
As Jerry runs the play, one of his own teammates topples Carter miraculously, and with a “sudden sense of freedom,” Jerry passes to The Goober. Carter tackles... (full context)
Chapter 25
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Power Theme Icon
Tradition Theme Icon
...to tell them all why he won’t sell the chocolates. The President of the Vigils, Carter, lets out an exasperated breath. He is bored with “this chocolate stuff,” not to mention... (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Power Theme Icon
Tradition Theme Icon
...Archie is caving by simply “asking” him to give in. Archie dismisses the meeting, and Carter bangs the gavel, officially adjourning things. He thinks to himself that what Jerry needs is... (full context)
Chapter 27
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Power Theme Icon
Tradition Theme Icon
...the Vigils. The group, he says, can’t even scare a “punk freshman” into selling chocolates. Carter strikes Rollo in the jaw, and Rollo recoils in pain. Carter punches Rollo once more,... (full context)
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Power Theme Icon
Tradition Theme Icon
Before Archie can get talking, however, Carter warns Archie that it is dangerous for them when students like Rollo start challenging the... (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Archie knows he must show Carter—and the rest of the group—that he alone can take care of Renault and the chocolates.... (full context)
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Carter assents to Archie’s plan, and adjourns the meeting—but then warns Archie that his plan had... (full context)
Chapter 29
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Tradition Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Chapter 36
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Power Theme Icon
Tradition Theme Icon
...who will be more united than ever as they control Janza and Renault like automatons. Carter approaches Archie and expresses surprise but excitement at how fast the tickets are selling. Carter... (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Power Theme Icon
Tradition Theme Icon
Carter tries to hide his disgust—he feels that Archie is repellent, and always has an uncanny... (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Power Theme Icon
Tradition Theme Icon
...down. In front of the platform are the last remaining chocolates—fifty boxes—stacked in a pyramid. Carter walks to the center of the platform and gestures for silence. Archie is ready to... (full context)
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Power Theme Icon
Tradition Theme Icon
...Archie off-guard. He feels that in surprising Archie, he has at last triumphed over him. Carter had expressed doubt about using the black box when Obie first broached the idea with... (full context)
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Power Theme Icon
Tradition Theme Icon
Obie wanted to try and fix the results, filling the box with black marbles, but Carter had protested. Carter did insist, though, that Archie be made to pull from the box... (full context)
Chapter 37
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Power Theme Icon
Tradition Theme Icon
...be reminded of his own betrayals. Now, huddled in his seat, The Goober listens as Carter explains the rules of the “crazy” fight to the gathered crowd: the kid whose blow... (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Power Theme Icon
Tradition Theme Icon
Carter reaches into a cardboard box held by Obie and pulls out the first slip of... (full context)
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Power Theme Icon
Carter pulls out another slip; this one instructs Janza to hit Jerry with a right uppercut... (full context)
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Power Theme Icon
...after that—the second slip, however, instructs Janza to deliver a “low blow to the groin.” Carter realizes that he has just delivered a command for an illegal punch, but Janza, all... (full context)
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Power Theme Icon
Tradition Theme Icon
Carter realizes things are out of control, and looks around for help. Obie is nowhere to... (full context)
Chapter 39
The Individual vs. Society Theme Icon
Control vs. Chaos Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Power Theme Icon
Tradition Theme Icon
Archie tells Obie that he’s going to forget what he and Carter did earlier with the black box. Obie hopes aloud that perhaps, the next time, the... (full context)