Charlie and the Chocolate Factory


Chapters 23 and 24

Summary Chapters 23 and 24

Mr. Wonka foreshadows Mrs. Salt’s demise when he tells her she is a fish and should boil her head. When Mrs. Salt follows Veruca down the garbage chute, she mingles with trash, including boiled fish heads. Another instance of foreshadowing occurs when Veruca impatiently demands a trained squirrel. It is these very squirrels who will deem her a bad nut and send her down the garbage chute. Mr. Wonka’s joke about the incinerator can be read in one of two ways: either he is certain that the incinerator is off, or he does not care if Veruca dies. In spite of his seeming indifference, it seems unlikely that Mr. Wonka would condemn Veruca to death. Because he is certain that everything will work out, the reader can assume that Veruca (and the others) will survive. Charlie’s concern for Veruca continues to distinguish him from the others. Ostensibly, Charlie has no reason to fear for Veruca’s safety. She has never been nice to him, and, in fact, she has never even engaged him in conversation. But Charlie is a truly caring person. Mr. Wonka’s certainty that everything will turn out fine is enough to satisfy Charlie, who trusts him completely.