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Beyond The Chocolate War
Beyond The Chocolate War, a novel written by Robert Cormier is the compelling sequel to The Chocolate War. Robert Cormier is a successful writer who pictures the typical lives of everyday people with extraordinary talent. He is also the author of After The First Death the set novel for year 10 this year. As the names suggest, these books revolve around the same classification: conflict however these are not your common books about pure physical war and battle but it adresses the other side of conflict - the thoughts racing though the characters minds. He very carefully nurtures the plot and story through not only the actions but the thinking of people to build up to a complex climax.
The genre of Beyond The Chocolate War is a psychological thriller that deals with the darker side side of human nature. The novel considers real life situations exaggerated for more effect is a very psychological manner. The dilemmas and predicaments experienced by the many characters in the story are expressed via the battle with their own mind, their decisions and the outcomes of their decisions afterwards.
There are many themes in Beyond The Chocolate War that all contribute to the composition on the story. Relationships, sexual desires, fighting, revenge, murder, rape, assault, anxiety/distress/trouble (very much so), rebellion, suicide, school values, secret societies and authority. The were numerous examples of relationships and sexual desires with the main character (Obie) having a girlfriend and other people lusting after her. Fighting was not used much - like brain over brawn although there were some fights involving physical violence and injury between students. The strong jocks and students who had built stature\'s were made to be in a lesser class, easily manipulated and "dopey" despite their physique. The plot of the story was also largely based on revenge with many of the characters devising devious plans as vengeance against one of the other main characters (Archie Costello). These plans included the usage of attempted assaults, rapes and murders. Many of the characters in this novel were disturbed and had trouble within their life - which drove them to the creation of the plans. Most of the people in the story blamed it on the dictatorship of Archie Costello which led to rebellion. There was also a sad case of a boy who committed suicide. It was made known throughout the book that he obviously needed help from his family, teachers and peers alike but did not receive it. The most important factor of the book was a secret society called the Vigils within a Catholic school called Trinity High School. The authority of the leader of the Vigils (Archie Costello) was enormous, he controlled practically everyone in the school except Brother Leon the Head Master. Most of the people in the school hated these two characters both very shrewd, smart and cruel. Both also experienced students trying to take their life.
Beyond The Chocolate War continues and shows the aftermath of The Chocolate War. Unlike other novels with pre-quels, Beyond The Chocolate War does not give readers a disadvantage and unfulfilling plot if they have not read the pre-quel. It may have been easier however to know the background of some of the characters that were carried over from the previous book but this novel but this novel has a fine stand alone story. The basic plot of the story of starts off with the return of Jerry Renault a boy was severely injured during a fight in the Chocolate War in the previous novel. He is still in shock and the book refers to some of his feelings about the confrontation with the boy who beat him up Emile
Janza - a supposedly stupid person with muscles bulging everywhere. Over 3/4 of the story is from the eyes of the main character Obie who vows revenge on Archie Costello who ruined his life. Obie used to be Archie\'s \'right hand man\' and his best friend even though Archie was using Obie. Now he has become Archie\'s arch rival and aches to get out of the secret society: the Vigils. This group is responsible for pranks/practical jokes (known as "assignments" to the Vigils) around the school and has caused
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Beyond the Chocolate War, The Chocolate War, Chocolate, Archie Andrews, Robert Cormier
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