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Power in "The Chocolate War"

How Archie became a bad leader

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Many people desire power. Some put it into good use and some used it in bad ways. In The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier, power is a recurring theme. It is used mostly against the boys who do not have any power.Archie, the leader of the vigils, gained his power furiously, but he puts it into bad use.At the end of chapter 5, Archie, in order to gain leadership and power in the vigils, he assigned a new assignment to the kid, Goober, to take the chairs and desks apart in room 19.

But, he had to draw a white marble from the box first.The box provided the control. After every assignment, it was presented to Archie. If Archie drew a white marble, the assignment stood as ordered. If Archie drew the black marble, it would be necessary for Archie himself to carry out the assignment, to perform the duty he had assigned for others.

In this scene, we learn that Archie desires control and power for the Vigils by giving assignments to the students in the school. Archie uses his power to “encourage(s)” aka:threatens Jerry to sell the chocolates. The Chocolate War shows us power is easily abused in the wrong hands.

 

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