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(3mins)Charlie Bucket is a poor boy who lives in the shadows of a grand chocolate factory. He lives with his parents and his grandparent and they all share the one bed. Charlie's favorite grandparent and his best friends Joe use to work in the Chocolate factory which towers over their home. He tells Charlie stories of the mysterious factory he once worked in. Charlie's family is so poor that only once a year, on his birthday, can Charlie have a Wonka bar from the factory. Willy Wonka the owner of the factory who has been in hiding for 10 years suddenly appeared to announce a contest in which 5 chocolate bars somewhere in the world contained a golden ticket. This ticket would give the recipient a tour of Willy Wonka's mysterious chocolate factory. Quickly 4 of the golden tickets were snatched up. Charlie received his traditional Wonka bar for his birthday and opened it in anticipation to see if it contained the last golden ticket. It did not. On the way home from school the next day Charlie found a dollar and he took it to the candy store to buy another Wonka bar. This time Charlie did indeed find the final golden ticket. Charlie and 4 other children gathered for the tour of a life time they were about to receive. Throughout the tour the bad children meet with unfortunate fates due to their behavioral problems. Augusta who's a fat kid with an eating problem fell into the chocolate river while eating it. Violet who is a girl who chews gum incessantly was turned into a blueberry when she chewed some gum against Mr. Wonka's advice.
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(2mins)The books themes include Poverty vs. Wealth, Good things come in small packages, what goes around comes around and Adults vs. Children. The way the book views the theme of poverty vs. wealth is that it positions the reader to view wealth as a bad thing and to not necessarily make poverty to look like a good thing but to show that it certainly does have its benefits and that if you are in such a situation yourself it's not the end of your happiness. Wealth is shown in the form of the 4 other children who won the golden tickets but Vercua Salt and her family are shown as the true characters that embody wealth. Vercua is a bratty girl who wants anything and everything and believes that she can have everything. Vercua's spoilt nature is eventually her downfall in the book when she is unable to buy a squirrel which belongs the Mr. Wonka she runs into the room to simply take one. The squirrels that are trained to throw away bad nuts (walnuts) grab Vercua and throw her down the garbage chute. When her parents run in after viewing Veruca go down the chute the squirrels recognize them as bad nuts as well and throw them down the chute. Throughout the book Dahl makes references that the children are not to be blamed for their behavior but it's the parents fault. It the case of this theme the reader is positioned to believe that wealth causes bad parenting. Veruca's parents can afford to give her anything she wants and that's exactly what they do. This wealth has caused Vercua to become a bad nut' and the lack of parenting and the simple reliance on money to raise their child has turned her parents into bad nuts' as well. On the flip side Charlie the poor boy is the nicest boy you could ever meet. He faces many hardships through his poverty yet he never complains or accepts charity. He has a very loving and close family. A happiness that the Veruca and her family simple just can't buy.
(1.5 min)Good things come in small packages or don't judge a book by its cover is a great theme to take from this book. Charlie is the nicest boy and has great inner strength yet you would not believe it simply by looking at him. He is a thin pale young boy who lives in poverty. Further into the story when Charlie's father loses his job and the food supply becomes low Charlie shows great inner strength and resilience to get by. His family members offer him their food yet despite him obviously needing it he stands strong in his beliefs and refuses them to give him charity at their own expense. Charlie shows his resilience when he begins leaving for school earlier so he can walk at a slower pace to conserve energy. In the end Charlie proves his inner strength in the face of many temptations of food which he could so desperately need by following Mr. Wonka's rules. The character of Willy Wonka is another example of small packages. In the beginning Mr. Wonka is described as a small man yet in the end we find out he is larger than life it's self. This theme is not only portrayed by characters but by objects as well. The factory is underground because it's simply too big to fit on the surface. The factory on the surface although indeed mysterious does look relative normal. But as we know the factory is anything but normal.
(1min)What goes around comes around. The old karma is a philosophy most of us truly believe in and I am one of those people. The old karma is shown in this book through the good fortune of Charlie and the misfortune of the other 4 children. Charlie is the nicest guy around. Even through his poverty he is able to look at the bright side in life. He is nice to everyone and always puts everyone else before himself. Charlie is a good person and that good fortune comes back around again when Charlie finds his dollar. Which gets him the golden ticket. Which ends up getting him ownership of the most wonderful chocolate factory on the planet and helps fulfill Charlie's dreams. On the other hand the 4 other golden ticket winners are all misbehaving brats. They all ignore Mr. Wonka's rules and requests dispute being guests in his factory and this comes back to bite them all in the arse. The kids meet with ironic and cruel endings which relates to the misdeed they did in the first place.
(1 45min)The theme of Adults vs. Children is probably the most important in this book. The entire book shows adults in a bad light. No adult escapes this not even Charlie's Grandpa Joe or Willy Wonka. When Charlie wins his golden ticket 2 adults offer to buy the tickets from him. Both prices are huge amounts of money to Charlie but in fact they are obviously nowhere near the true value of the ticket and they are obviously trying to simply take advantage of the fact Charlie is poor for their own personal gain. Even the crowds judging of the winners before they enter is proof of the difference between adults and their speed to judge where as children do not judge based on looks. Joes is portrayed at having child like attributes and that is why he gets along so well with Charlie. He believes in Mr. Wonka as much as Charlie does but in the end during the elevator ride his adult rationality won out. This is why Charlie was the only one to be able to take over. Even Wonka himself is shed in a bad light at times. Instead of giving his factory to someone who will take good care of it he wants to give it to someone who will run it exactly as he wants. He wants to have a second life sort to speak through Charlie. Wonka is in reality just as bad as the other adults for abusing the trusting nature of children such as Charlie and essentially using them for his own personal desires. You may say that what about the 4 little brats? But throughout the book the message is clear that it's not the child's fault they are misbehaving the book constantly places the blame on the parents for not raising the child properly.