The Chocolate War

by Robert Cormier

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What is the rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution of The Chocolate War?

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The rising action of Cormier's The Chocolate War is Jerry's interactions with The Vigils and Brother Leon.  Brother Leon wants Jerry to sell the chocolates.  The Vigils want Jerry to refuse selling any chocolates for ten days.  It is a tense ten days, but the rising action continues to climb once the ten day period ends.  After the ten day period ends, Jerry continues to refuse to sell the chocolates.  This single action upsets Brother Leon further, and it upsets The Vigils.  It upsets The Vigils because they see Jerry's action as a refusal to submit to their authority.  They begin tormenting and bullying Jerry in horrible ways.  

The climax occurs when Jerry is attacked by Emile Janza and multiple other boys.

The falling action is the special assembly that features the boxing match between Jerry and Emile Janza.  Jerry is beaten to a pulp by the end of the assembly.  He is taken to the hospital and thinks that his war wasn't worth it.  

The final conclusion is a chilling one.  The reader doesn't hear from Jerry again and is left wondering if he survived.  The novel ends with Archie and Obie showing no remorse.  The reader is left with the feeling that things at Trinity will continue as usual. 

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