What went wrong with the fight in The Chocolate War?  

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As with all of his machinations, Archie plans to exercise strict control over the fight.  After connivingly convincing both Jerry Renault and Emile Janza to participate in the event, he sells "raffle tickets" to the spectators in which they can request the type of blows they want each of the fighters to deliver to the other during the proceedings.  According to the rules which Archie has set up, each boy can only hit his opponent with the type and number of blows described on the drawn raffle tickets, and the receiver of the blows cannot put up a defense against them.  The match begins as planned, with Archie drawing "raffle tickets" one by one and reading each aloud, after which the fighter named delivers the blow described. 

The tenor of the fight changes when Archie draws a ticket which directs Emile to deliver an illegal, below-the-belt hit to Jerry.  Archie, who could have prevented the problem by eliminating the call, instead unthinkingly reads the ticket aloud, and when Emile follows through, Jerry understandably puts his hands out to deflect the blow.  Emile, thinking only that Jerry has broken the rules, is infuriated and begins to pummel him indescriminately.  Jerry is knocked out and chaos ensues in the crowd, stopped only when the stadium lights are inexplicably extinguished.