Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Summary

Roald Dahl

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

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Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Summary

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a book by renowned British author Roald Dahl, a man known for his strange and wondrous imagination. It was first published in 1964 and has become a classic. It tells the story of Charlie Bucket and his adventures inside the chocolate factory of the mysterious and eccentric Mr. Willy Wonka.

After years of keeping is factory closed to the public, Willy Wonka has decided to open it to just 5 children and their parents. He places 5 golden tickets inside the wrappers of different chocolate bars, and declares that whoever finds one will be able to enter the factory.

The first child to find a ticket is Augustus Gloop, a heavyset child with a love for candy. His town throws him a parade. The next child to find a ticket is Veruca Salt, a spoiled, rich child whose father bought thousands of bars and had his peanut-shelling factory workers unwrap them. Violet Beauregard is the third child who finds a ticket. She was taking a break from the world record gum chewing championships and just knew she would win. The fourth ticket goes to Mike Teavee, who cares only about television.

At this point, the world is frantically searching for the fifth ticket. Charlie Bucket, a poor but virtuous boy who lives in a house with his parents and all four of his grandparents, is lucky enough to find the fifth ticket. Normally, he receives one bar of chocolate every year on his birthday, but this year, Mr. Bucket has lost his job. By a tremendous stroke of good fortune, Charlie finds a dollar crumpled in the snow, and decides to buy himself a bar. After eating the first one, he buys just one more and finds the golden ticket.

The next day, the five children are set to enter the factory. Neither Charlie’s father nor mother can accompany him, but the eldest grandparent, Grandpa Joe, springs out of bed for the first time in decades, the excitement renewing his energy.

The sights and sounds of the factory are incredible. They meet the Oompa Loompas, a race of small people that work in the factory, dedicated to Willy Wonka for having saved them. Charlie and his grandpa are respectful and kind, but the other four children each fall victim to their own character flaws.

The first child to go is Augustus. He attempts to drink from the hot chocolate river, and when he falls in, he is sucked up into the pipes. Veruca Salt is determined to be “bad” by the squirrels who judge the nuts that go in the candy, and she is thrown into the trash. Violet grabs a piece of experimental gum and is subsequently blown up into a giant blueberry and rolled out of the factory by the Oompa Loompas. Mike decides to be the first human sent through the TV in Willy’s chocolate-by-television delivery system, and when he shrinks, he must be carried from the factory in his father’s breast pocket.

Willy Wonka remains dispassionate about each child’s fate, alienating the parents. He firmly believes that everything will work out in the end. When only Charlie remains, Willy Wonka surprises him by saying that he’s won the contest. Turns out, the entire event has been a secret contest to determine the new owner of the chocolate factory. They ride up in the glass elevator until it crashes through the roof of the factory and onto the roof of Charlie’s house, where they collect the rest of the Bucket family.

The driving theme of this story is that of karma. As each child displays his or her character flaws, they are dealt punishments that are somewhat extreme and intended to make them better people. Their parents cannot intervene the way they have in real life, so the children experience the full consequences of their actions. Charlie is the only one who receives good things, because he is a good child.

Another theme prominent in the story is the idea that wealth doesn’t necessarily make someone a good person. The hero of the story turns out to be Charlie, a child with absolutely nothing, who is a kind, thoughtful person. Everyone in his family loves each other, and they experience their suffering together with the strength of their love. The rest of the children come from families with more means, but this has not made them more loving or kind; rather, the opposite. Veruca didn’t even find the ticket herself; her father used his wealth to find it. Even a normally forgiving Charlie mentions that this is unfair.

A final lesson is that good things come from places you least expect. Charlie is a quiet boy, but he turns out to have the best character of anyone. His pitiful appearance hides a strength of character that the other children do not have. Willy Wonka is a small, reclusive man, but he hides a wondrous power to grant childrens’ wishes and determine their fates. Each bar of chocolate contains all the power of Wonka’s dreams.

Charlie is meant to take over the factory, and through the story, we learn that our actions and attitudes will bring us what we deserve, even if not at first. If we are good, we will receive good things. But if we are bad? Fate will deal with us accordingly.