The setting of The Chocolate War is a small, Catholic, all-boys' high school in New England.
The purpose of the attack on Brother Eugene's room, aside from being a malicious prank, is to enable the Vigils to assert their power. To be able to conceive of and execute such an elaborate scheme demonstrates the extreme level of their influence and sophistication. The outcome of the attack is chaos, which extends far beyond the immediate reaction to the event. Brother Eugene suffers a breakdown, the candy sale is postponed for a week, and a sinister air of uneasiness settles over the campus (Chapter 13).