Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Chapters 11 and 12
Charlie enters the store and asks for a Wonka whipple-scrumptious fudgemallow delight bar—the same bar he had eaten on his birthday. The storekeeper places it on the counter and Charlie scarfs it down, savoring the joy of filling his mouth with the sweet chocolaty bites. While putting Charlie’s change on the counter, the storekeeper remarks that Charlie really seemed to have wanted that bar. Charlie continues inhaling the chocolate bar. Then, looking at the nine dimes before him, Charlie decides to that it couldn’t hurt to buy one more bar. The storekeeper takes down another bar and hands it to Charlie, who unwraps the chocolate bar and spies a glint of gold within the wrapping. The storekeeper notices it too and yells that Charlie has found the last golden ticket. The storekeeper’s excitement gathers a crowd around Charlie. The crowd points and shouts, causing Charlie to feel claustrophobic.
A man in the crowd touches Charlie’s shoulder and offers to buy the ticket for fifty dollars and a new bicycle. Another woman scoffs at that offer and offers five hundred dollars for the ticket. The storekeeper then steps through the crowd, telling people to leave Charlie alone. He escorts Charlie to the door and implores him to run home. Before Charlie departs, the shopkeeper says how happy he is for Charlie. Charlie thanks the kind shopkeeper and runs home. While running past Mr. Wonka’s factory, Charlie shouts that they will be seeing him soon.
Charlie bursts into his house and yells for his mother. In a whirlwind of excitement, he explains to her how he found the final golden ticket. Everyone responds with silence. Grandpa Joe asks Charlie if he is telling a joke. Charlie responds that he is not, and he holds the ticket up for Grandpa Joe to see. As Grandpa Joe leans in to get a closer look, everyone else looks at him, eagerly awaiting the verdict. Grandpa Joe looks up at Charlie. He is smiling. After a deep breath, Grandpa Joe explodes with excitement, screaming and jumping from the bed to do a victory dance.
Mr. Bucket returns home after a long day of shoveling snow to great commotion. The family explains the unbelievable situation to him. Charlie shows his father the ticket made of gold paper and the invitation written on it. Grandpa Joe asks his son to read the invitation aloud to everyone. The invitation from Mr. Wonka greets the finder and explains that he should come to the factory on the morning of February 1 for a tour, led by Mr. Wonka, of all the wonders in his factory. The lucky finder will also receive a lifetime supply of Wonka goodies. Mr. and Mrs. Bucket realize that February 1 is the following day. Grandpa Joe says that they must begin getting Charlie prepared. Grandpa Joe volunteers to escort Charlie, since Mr. Bucket must work and Mrs. Bucket must take care of the others. Mr. and Mrs. Bucket agree that it should be Grandpa Joe to go with Charlie, which causes Grandpa Joe to shout with glee. There is a knock on the door. When Mr. Bucket answers it, hordes of reporters and cameras burst into their house. Several hours later, they finally leave, and Charlie can finally go to sleep.
In this section, Charlie finally indulges himself. Even while doing so, he maintains his generous spirit. When Charlie enters the store and orders a chocolate bar, he is, in a way, acting selfishly—but the reader is rooting for Charlie to do something good for himself. Until now he has been almost too nice and too generous. This act makes Charlie seem more real. Indeed, this seemingly selfish act results in an extremely valuable reward: a golden ticket. Sometimes, Dahl seems to suggest, a little bit of self-interest can be a good thing. The corollary, which Dahl has already established, is that too much self-interest is a terrible thing.
The other patrons in the candy store are yet another negative example of adulthood. They are mean and self-interested. They each want a golden ticket so badly that they are more than willing to cheat Charlie in order to get one. The first offer of fifty dollars and a bicycle is a terrible offer aimed at taking advantage of Charlie’s poverty. Even the second offer of five hundred dollars is nowhere near the actual worth of the ticket. Dahl also continues his effort to cast adults in a bad light. The storekeeper alone stands out as a conscientious and caring adult in this scene. He alone comes to Charlie’s aid and saves him from the hordes of greedy adults. The storekeeper also speaks for the reader when he tells Charlie he deserves to have found the ticket. The storekeeper is an enigma in this scene.
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