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Why did Emile conclude that he could get away with acts such as robbing gasoline or...

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soyberry | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 2, 2010 at 1:54 AM via web

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Why did Emile conclude that he could get away with acts such as robbing gasoline or harassing teachers in Chocolate War?

from Chapter 7

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 2, 2010 at 4:05 AM (Answer #1)

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Emile Janza is the quintessential bully, an "animal," depraved. He is ruthless, and has discovered that the world is "full of willing victims," having learned early in life that people generally do not want trouble; "nobody wanted a showdown." Emile had found that he could do anything he wanted, like steal a kid's lunch, and ordinarily, nothing would happen to him, because people tended to want "peace at any price." People also for the most part had a great fear of being embarrassed or humiliated, and would do anything to avoid being put in that situation. Emile had no qualms about taking advantage of others' fears and weaknesses, and would often make cruel jokes about others, just because he could. People became afraid of Emile's sheer evilness, and went around being "extra nice" to him, so that he would leave them alone, and on the rare occasion when someone protested about his behavior, Emile inflicted such painful punishment that it was easier to just let him have his way.

Because of all this, Emile has concluded that he can get away with doing things like harrassing teachers and stealing gasoline from the cars of others because he knows that people are afraid of him, and generally will do anything to avoid confrontation. As a result, there are usually no consequences for his actions, and Emile, being the unscrupulous person that he is, takes full advantage of his position, doing whatever he wants, to whomever he wants (Chapter 7).

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