Jerry gets a summons from The Vigils. Archie, sitting at a table in the gym, offers him a chocolate. Jerry refuses, and Archie asks him how many boxes of chocolates he has sold. Jerry says zero, and then Archie begins asking everyone else in the gym how many boxes they have sold. Archie begins delivering a speech about how as a freshman, Jerry should possess enough school spirit to sell chocolates. Archie asks why Jerry is refusing, and Jerry tells him that it is personal. Archie tells him that with The Vigils, nothing is personal. Finally, Jerry says he does not want to sell the chocolates. Archie points out that everyone must do things he does not want to do. Archie tells Jerry that his new assignment is to say yes during tomorrow's roll call, and to accept the chocolates. Archie tells him that instead of punishing him, they are giving him a chance to make amends. Obie notices Archie's exact words: "We're just asking you to take the chocolates tomorrow," and realizes that Archie must be frightened if he used the word "asking."
Jerry calls a girl he has seen at the bus stop. She has smiled at him, and he decides that now is the time to call her. The phone call does not go well. First she mistakes him for someone named Danny, and then she thinks that the caller is a pervert. Jerry meditates on this for a while. He knows he is not a sexual pervert, but acknowledges that in other ways he is a pervert. He thinks that not selling the chocolates indicates perversion, as well as his defiance of The Vigils. For the first time, saying no actually felt good.
The Vigils have picked a junior, Frankie Rollo for their next assignment. Unlike most of the others, he is not afraid of The Vigils, and rags on Archie throughout the meeting. Carter, president of The Vigils, reacts in a way he previously has not before and he begins to beat Frankie up. Carter says that when someone like Frankie challenges The Vigils, they know something is wrong. Carter suggests that they are the ones who are wrong, because they got involved with the chocolate sale and because they let Jerry defy their assignment.
Obie shows them a poster he pulled down from the wall earlier that says: "Screw the chocolates and screw The Vigils." Carter says this is evidence that Jerry's defiance has spread. Archie says that they cannot just beat everyone up. Archie says they must make selling chocolates a popular thing to do, and make Jerry look bad for not being involved. Archie says that the situation with Jerry will resolve itself. Carter says that it better, and that Archie is on probation until the sale is finished.
This chapter begins again at football practice. This time, Jerry's role in the drill is to try and tackle Carter, who is much bigger and stronger than he is. After a few tries, Jerry lands an impressive tackle on Carter. After the play is over, Jerry gets viciously tackled from behind. He wonders who attacked him like that. At home, Jerry begins receiving prank phone calls. He answers, but there is silence on the other end, followed by laughing. It happens repeatedly, even in the middle of the night, waking Jerry's father.
The next day when Jerry opens his locker, he sees that his poster has been ruined and that his new gym shoes are slashed up. He knows that the vandalism, phone calls, and the attack at football are a message. In art class, Jerry has to turn in a landscape. The day before he left it on the teacher's desk, but now the teacher cannot find it. The teacher threatens to fail Jerry if it is not turned in by tomorrow. Upon leaving for the day, Jerry opens his locker again and looks at the ruined poster. He then grasps the meaning of it.
That's my favorite quote from the book and it makes Jerry realize that individuality isn't very meritorious because of the people of the world who will aim to bring you down. This was perfect.
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
Be very clear. There is a mistake. It was David Caroni who was blackmailed by Brother Leon into exposing the Vigils as the reason why Jerry did not sell chocolates. It was NOT Brian Cochran.
5 out of 8 people found this helpful
If there's anything that's been annoying me horribly, is the question of why Jerry and Obie never report the bullying? Did Cormier himself, think that asking authority for help was for pansies; Or am I missing the whole pointlessness of this stupid and dismal story. Yeah, I understand that not everyone would like you in life, but why did He (the writer) have to be so sadistic? I got help when I was bullied, and everything was fine. I guess I just never got a pleasurable rise out of this guy's work. (And I read this twice in my life, plus wat... Read more→