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How would you say the "Assignment" that the Goober received changed him?I...

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jess265456 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 6, 2007 at 3:34 AM via web

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How would you say the "Assignment" that the Goober received changed him?

I think Goober played an important role in The Chocolate War and his charaicter did a lot more than what it said he did...read between the lines...

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 10, 2007 at 10:52 AM (Answer #1)

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Goober is very important.  He represents a boy standing between the path of "right" and the path of "wrong".  He wants to do right.  He wants to stand up to the Vigils, and readers are given the impression that he just might be an ally to Jerry.  But the assignment he gets, and then decides to complete, works like a cancer on him.  In destroying Brother Leon's office, Goober not only does something wrong, but he helps to destroy the confidence of a man he respected.  By doing this, he destroys his own confidence as well.  Goober sees himself as "bad" and so he can't, when needed, stand up against the crowd because he feels that he has no right to.  It would be hypocritical.  By completing the assignment, he choose to stay on the path set by the Vigils.


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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 14, 2007 at 7:26 AM (Answer #2)

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Socrates once said that the unexamined life is not worth living. The assignment was a critical point in Goober's life because it forced him to wake up, look at his life, and face the real world. Before the assignment, he lived the idyllic life of a child. "Things were simple and uncomplicated...everything seemed beautiful...the entire world attainable" (Chapter 8). The assignment forced Goober to examine himself, and although he found himself inadequate to the task of facing the world with the integrity he knew he should have, the fact that he had embarked upon the road of self-evaluation and searching opened the door to the possibility that he might eventually find a life worth living. 

I think Goober is important because, while he is weak, he remains sensitive to a higher ideal, and his struggles - tentative though they are - to act accordingly, give him a kind of "everyman" role in the book. He is a regular guy living in an evil world, and I think his story realistically illustrates the extreme difficulty of remaining true to a noble standard in an environment of corruption and deceit.

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