The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

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How does the theme of disturbing the universe relate to power in The Chocolate War?

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There is a distinct sense of order regarding the school, the Vigils, and the chocolate sale. This order is created by history but it is perpetuated and enforced by those in power, those who are invested in maintaining a certain status. Those who "dare disturb the universe" pose a threat to the established authorities. 

In Chapter 6 Leon hypocritically praises Bailey for being "true to himself." When Jerry exhibits just this quality, Leon does all that he can to break him down.

The order in the school that Jerry upsets in the novel is directly related to power. By refusing to sell chocolates,...

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maria-vivanco | Student

The theme "disturbing the universe" applies to The Chocolate War because Jerry Renault decided to question the entire system of the chocolates. Usually, every student sells a certain amount of chocolate boxes, no matter what. No one ever refused to sell them. Trinity is a school where privacy is nonexistent, where teachers intimidate students, and where students brutalize one another.  Jerry took up an assignment from the Vigils to refuse to sell chocolates for 10 days, to mess with Brother Leon. However, Jerry decides to refuse the chocolates forever. After the 10 days, he keeps saying no, and this is messing with the sales. He refuses and accepts the consequences of his actions. 

The way that the theme comes into play is that Jerry dared to question and "disturb" the perfect sales.