Young Adult, Fiction

Point of view 

The point of view is from a third person omniscient narrator who skips from character to character, revealing a number of characters' thoughts and actions.


The tone in the book is largely serious and very perceptive. While Jerry is the protagonist, we get into the minds of other characters as well. The tone during passages about Brother Leon and Archie becomes sarcastic and pessimistic. The tone at the ending is dismal and hopeless.


Past tense

Setting (time) 

It isn't definitively stated, but likely a relatively modern time period.

Setting (place) 

Trinity school (an all-boys school), with a few scenes at Jerry's home.


Jerry Renault

Major conflict 

Jerry's refusal to sell chocolates at the school's chocolate sale.

Rising action 

Jerry's refusal after the first ten days and The Vigils' subsequent punishment of that choice.


The assembly at which Jerry fights Emile Janza for the chance to get back at everyone who has punished him for his decision not to sell the chocolates.

Falling action 

The ending of the boxing match and Jerry's subsequent realization that it is not worth it to disturb the universe.


The Goober's disintegration after carrying out his assignment, the beatings Jerry takes during and after football practice, Jerry looking at his poster and pondering the meaning of it.