Many believe that the path towards individuality is a noble and righteous avenue however; this ideology shadows the truth of the vilification, isolation, and ostracism that an individual must endure. Through challenging the norm, individuals may find themselves in the midst of a riot, being suppressed by both sides and may often feel victimised by society and expelled for being true to their morals. Despite the persecution by society, an individual will find a haven in their morality and integrity and the self-belief that they are standing up for the greater good.
Through the great costs and brutality of individuality individualists face, the rewards and benefits that succeed the costs and outweigh the loss.To begin with, the path to individuality is a lonesome and isolated road deviating from conformity but leads towards dignity and nobility, while retaining pride, morality and a sense of self-worth and justice. Robert Cormier depicts this element through his protagonists’ actions in challenging the temptation of conformity, but staying true to their own self-belief. Cormier positions the audience to realise the underlying truth about individuality and how great the costs can be through the characterisation of Jerry.
Jerry is portrayed as an impotent character, having little knowledge about the innate power he possesses and Archie, a binary opposite. The antithesis created between these 2 characters showcases the extremity of how alike and different they both are; Archie, in desperate need to retain power and dominance whereas Jerry, soldiering on as a brave individual, preserving his ethicality and integrity. However, Jerrys’ consistent refusal towards the selling of the chocolate costs him greatly as his want “to do something. Be somebody”, leads him down into a physical and mental harassment created by the vigils.
On the other hand, Cormier highlights the moral framework Jerry has and exhibits the truth about individuality and how one person can overcome obstacles while strengthening their moral framework and the resilience to believe in their self-worth.