Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Chapters 21 and 22
Mr. Wonka explains that the piece of gum is his most amazing invention yet: it is an entire three-course meal in one piece of gum. He explains that the piece of gum before him is tomato soup, roast beef, and blueberry pie. Violet asks what Mr. Wonka means. He explains that while chewing this gum, one would actually taste tomato soup, roast beef, and blueberry pie. Furthermore, one would be full after chewing it. He believes his new gum will changes people’s lives forever. Veruca says it is impossible.
Violet takes her gum out of her mouth and asks Mr. Wonka to give her the super gum. Mrs. Beauregarde asks Violet not to do anything silly, but Violet ignores her mother. Mr. Wonka warns Violet that the gum has not been perfected. But before he can finish, Violet seizes the gum and throws it into her mouth. Violet immediately begins tasting the soup and says how delicious it is. Mr. Wonka again cautions her, but Violet ignores him. She describes the gum’s changing taste. Mr. and Mrs. Beauregarde cheer on their daughter while everyone stares at Violet in awe. She describes the wondrous blueberry pie she tastes. Her mother notices that her nose is changing shape. Violet tells her mother to be quiet. She continues chewing while her parents watch her begin to turn blue. They tell her to spit out the gum, but she ignores them. Mr. Wonka maintains that he still has not got the recipe right.
Everyone watches as Violet turns the color of blueberry juice. Mr. Wonka murmurs that dessert messes things up every time but insists that he will get it right eventually. Mrs. Beauregarde screams that Violet is swelling. Violet begins to feel ill and her body continues to expand: she is turning into a blueberry. Mr. Wonka explains that the same thing has happened to twenty different Oompa-Loompas. He does not understand why. Mrs. Beauregarde says she does not want a blueberry for a daughter. Mr. Wonka snaps his fingers and ten Oompa-Loompas appear. He instructs them to roll Violet to the juicing room, where, he explains to Mrs. Beauregarde, they will squeeze the juice out of her and fix her. Mr. Wonka apologizes to the Beauregardes while they follow their daughter’s rolling body. The rest of the crowd stares dumbstruck at the scene. Charlie whispers for Grandpa Joe to listen to the song the Oompa-Loompas are singing. The song is about the ills of chewing gum. The Oompa-Loompas end their song by saying they will try to save Violet before it is too late, although they are not sure that they can.
Mr. Wonka ushers everyone into the hall and states he does not want to lose any more children in that room. Charlie asks Mr. Wonka if Violet will be all right. Mr. Wonka responds that she will be fine after being juiced. Charlie wants to know if Violet will still be blue. Mr. Wonka says that she will be purple, but that is what she gets for chewing gum all day long. Mike Teavee asks Mr. Wonka why he makes gum if he is so opposed to it. Mr. Wonka tells Mike not to mumble when he speaks and hurries the rest of the children and adults into the hallway. Charlie holds onto Grandpa Joe’s hand as the group winds its way through endless corridors. All along the hallway, the group passes by doors from which wonderful sounds, smells, and colors emanate.
Hurrying to keep up with Mr. Wonka, Charlie and Grandpa Joe notice a sign on a door that says “Eatable Marshmallow Pillows.” Mr. Wonka predicts that these pillows will be all the rage soon. Another door guards lickable wallpaper, which Mr. Wonka explains has pictures of fruits on it that taste like the real thing. He then lists examples of the fruit: strawberries, bananas, and snozzberries. Mike Teavee asks what a snozzberry tastes like. Mr. Wonka again tells Mike not to mumble. The group passes other doors containing hot ice cream, chocolate milk cows, and fizzy lifting drinks. Mr. Wonka briefly explains the content of each room, telling Charlie that they way to get down from a fizzy lifting drink is to burp: if you do not burp, you will float upward forever. Veruca wants to know why they cannot go into these rooms, and Mr. Wonka tells her not to be so impatient. Finally the group pauses before a room called “Square Candies That Look Round.”
More foreshadowing and word games fill these chapters. The gum machine creates a gum that is an amazing violet color. Not only does the machine produce gum, which is Violet’s obsession, but it also produces gum that instantly reminds the reader of Violet’s name. Thus it is no surprise when this gum serves as her downfall. More foreshadowing occurs in the form of Veruca’s impatience. Veruca wants to stop in every room that the group passes by, and she grows increasingly frustrated with Mr. Wonka for ignoring her demands. Her growing impatience foreshadows the coming punishment for her impetuousness. The use of puns, nonsense, and word games entertain the reader while advancing the plot. Fruits such as snozzberries, edible pillows, and lickable wallpaper all sound either strange or implausible, though they can be entertaining to imagine. Mike Teavee pesters Mr. Wonka with questions about the snozzberries and gum. By ignoring Mike just as he ignores Veruca, Mr. Wonka also casts him in a negative light.
Just as Augustus is punished as a result of his greed, Violet is punished as a result of her excessive gum chewing. The punishments that befall the children are specific to their personalities. In order to cure Violet, who has turned into a giant blueberry, Mr. Wonka sends her to be juiced. This solution is both vague and ominous, and it scares Charlie, who asks Mr. Wonka if she will be all right. Charlie has no particular reason to care about Violet—she is a nasty and rotten child—but he is a kind boy and so he does. None of the other children demonstrate the capacity to care about others. Charlie is quickly becoming the clear favorite of Mr. Wonka.
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