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Would it have been possible to predict
which child would win the chocolate factory after Mr. Wonka’s description
of the beauty of the chocolate room?
Mr. Wonka cannot abide ugliness. Excluding
Charlie, each of the children has an ugly part of his or her personality.
Augustus is greedy, Violet is an excessive gum chewer, Veruca is
a brat, and Mike Teavee is obsessed with television. Even before
Mr. Wonka weighs in on the children’s foibles, other characters’
reactions dictate that they are indeed foibles. For instance, whenever
Mr. Bucket reads about one of the ticket finders in the paper the
grandparents inevitably discuss the shortcomings of these children.
The crowd of spectators outside the chocolate factory reinforces
the grandparents’ views of the other children by echoing their earlier
sentiments. Only Charlie is without a similar character flaw. He
is spared by the crowd, which can only say that he looks undernourished.
Therefore it would be reasonable to assume that Charlie will outlast
the others in the chocolate factory.
How does Grandpa Joe differ from other
children’s fathers, and how does this difference represent the positive
and negative aspects of adults according to the author?
Grandpa Joe differs from the other children’s
fathers in many ways. First, he is much older than they are. He
is also much more of a child at heart. His reaction to Charlie finding
the golden ticket is even more excited than Charlie’s own reaction.
Mr. Salt, on the other hand, is just satisfied to have mollified
his daughter. Grandpa Joe is also the only adult who seems to think
that Mr. Wonka is a genius. The other fathers and mothers call him
crazy. But Grandpa Joe is amazed at everything Mr. Wonka says and
does. Grandpa Joe is finally different because he seems to genuinely
care about Charlie. The other fathers only seem to care when something
bad happens to their children. It seems as though Mr. Dahl might
believe that adults in general are not very good people. They are
either not trustworthy or simply have no integrity. However, there
might be one adult here and there, like Grandpa Joe, who can be
a friend to a child.
What kind of child is Mr. Wonka looking
for to run his factory?
Mr. Wonka finds Charlie to run his factory.
Charlie is a small, quiet, incredibly selfless boy. He never accepts
extra food from his parents, because it will mean taking away food
from them. He never complains about his life, even though he sleeps
on the floor, is too cold, and never has enough to eat. He never
asks for anything and does what he is told. Along the way, Mr. Wonka
discards many other children. These children are headstrong, greedy,
selfish, and ignorant. Since Mr. Wonka gets rid of these other children,
he must not be looking for those qualities Charlie possesses. He
is looking for these qualities because he wants someone to run the
factory the exact same way he runs it. If he chose one of the other
children—or even worse, an adult—that person would not necessarily
run the factory the way Mr. Wonka sees fit. By choosing Charlie,
the dutiful child, Mr. Wonka ensures that his factory will continue
to be run exactly the way he wants it long after he is gone.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!