Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
This book has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine.
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
Charlie Bucket is a poor boy whose family can barely afford to buy food. Charlie is fond of chocolate, but he only receives one chocolate bar every year on his birthday. He lives within sight of a chocolate factory owned by the famous chocolate maker Willy Wonka, but Wonka has closed off his factory to the world for the past 10 years. No workers enter or leave the buildings.
A newspaper announcement from Wonka reveals that he will open his factory for a private tour, though he will only allow five children to enter. The five children will be admitted if they have invitations called Golden Tickets, but these Golden Tickets are hidden inside Wonka chocolate bars, and no one knows which bars contain the tickets. As an added incentive, the children who find Golden Tickets will receive a lifetime supply of chocolates and candy after their tour is finished. Charlie has little hope of finding a Golden Ticket because he only receives one bar of chocolate per year.
In the days following Wonka's big announcement, Charlie reads a series of newspaper articles that introduce the children who find Golden Tickets. The first ticket belongs to Augustus Gloop, an obese boy with a chronic overeating problem. The second ticket goes to Veruca Salt, a spoiled, angry girl. Charlie still has a hope of finding a Golden Ticket until he opens his special birthday chocolate bar and finds nothing but chocolate inside. Violet Beauregarde finds the third ticket. She is a rude girl who chews gum constantly. Mike Teavee, a child obsessed with watching television, finds the fourth ticket.
Charlie finds a dollar bill on the sidewalk and uses it to purchase two chocolate bars. The second bar contains the fifth and final Golden Ticket, which says the children may bring either one or two members of their family to look after them as they tour the factory. The next morning, Charlie and his Grandpa Joe go to Wonka's factory and are welcomed inside along with the other four ticket holders. Wonka leads his guests to an underground portion of the factory called the Chocolate Room. The room is designed to look like an outdoor landscape complete with trees, flowers and a waterfall, but Wonka has made the entire scene out of candy and chocolate. Charlie and the other children see some doll-sized human beings in the Chocolate Room, and Wonka explains they are Oompa-Loompas whom he saved from the dangerous country of Loompaland. The Oompa-Loompas agreed to work for Wonka and live in his factory in exchange for a safe home and an endless supply of their favorite food, cacao beans.
As Wonka is speaking, Augustus Gloop begins to drink from the chocolate river, despite warnings not to do so. Augustus falls into the river, where the current pulls him through a series of glass pipes. Wonka assures everyone that Augustus will not be harmed by the experience, and an Oompa-Loompa leads Mr. and Mrs. Gloop to the Fudge Room, where their son will soon arrive. The tour proceeds without the Gloop family. The guests board a yacht made of pink candy and sail down the chocolate river.
Everyone disembarks at the Inventing Room. Wonka shows the children several of his new candy creations. Against Wonka's advice, Violet Beauregarde grabs a piece of experimental gum and chews it. Violet turns blue and swells up until she resembles a giant blueberry. Some Oompa-Loompas roll Violet to the Juicing Room, where she will be squeezed until she returns to her normal size. The Beauregardes follow the Oompa-Loompas to the Juicing Room as the other guests continue the tour.
At the Nut Room, the guests see 100 squirrels at work shelling walnuts. Veruca Salt demands that her parents buy her a trained squirrel. When Wonka refuses to sell any squirrels, Veruca rushes forward to grab one. Instead, the squirrels grab Veruca, tap her head to determine whether she is a bad nut and throw her down a garbage chute. The squirrels also push Mr. and Mrs. Salt down the garbage chute. The tour continues without the Salts.
The remaining guests ride a glass elevator to the Television-Chocolate Room. Mike Teavee disobeys Wonka and sends himself through a television machine that vaporizes and re-assembles large objects. Mike is transformed into a 1"-tall version of himself. Wonka sends the Teavee family to a place where Mike can be stretched back to his original size.
Charlie and Grandpa Joe are the only remaining guests. Charlie, Grandpa Joe and Wonka step into the great glass elevator and fly out of the factory by crashing through the roof. The elevator flies over the entrance to the factory, where Charlie sees the other children leaving. They are all unharmed, but the obese Augustus Gloop has been squeezed until he is thin. Violet Beauregarde has purple skin. Veruca Salt is covered in garbage, and Mike Teavee has been stretched until he is shockingly tall.
As the glass elevator flies over Charlie's town, Wonka says he is glad that Charlie loves the chocolate factory. Wonka plans to give the factory to Charlie, who will be expected to run the business when he becomes an adult. Wonka says that Charlie must bring his whole family to live at the chocolate factory. At Charlie's house, Wonka ushers the whole family into the glass elevator, and they fly off toward their new home.
Grandpa Joe shouts, "Hallelujah" and "Praise the Lord!" when he learns he will be taking Charlie to tour the chocolate factory. The Oompa-Loompas sing a song that mentions a woman chewing gum while in church. Wonka tells Mrs. Teavee to pray that her son will be unharmed after being sent through the television machine.
Other Belief Systems
Charlie and his family repeatedly mention that finding a Golden Ticket is a matter of luck. Charlie observes that Wonka's Inventing Room is like a witch's kitchen.
Characters say heck and cripes. A-- is used to mean a foolish person.
Although Augustus, Veruca, Violet and Mike behave selfishly, other characters in the book refer to them in unkind terms. The Oompa-Loompas' songs about the children include a variety of insults. They call Augustus a great big greedy nincompoop, pig, revolting boy, greedy brute and a louse's ear. The Oompa-Loompas call Violet a repulsive little bum. The song about Veruca calls her a little brute and a brat. Grandpa Joe says Veruca needs to be kicked in the pants. Wonka calls Mrs. Salt a dear old fish and tells her to go boil her head.
Mike is fond of violent television programs featuring fights between gangsters. Mike says he wishes he were a gangster so he could take part in gunfights, knife fights and fistfights.
Wonka says that monsters often ate the Oompa-Loompas when they lived in their original country of Loompaland.
Augustus' pressurized journey through the glass pipes above the chocolate river seems violent, but Wonka assures Augustus' parents that the boy will not be harmed. However, the Oompa-Loompas jokingly sing about Augustus being sliced up, boiled and mixed into pieces of fudge.
Wonka uses Oompa-Loompas as test subjects for his candy experiments, and he says that many of them have swelled into giant blueberry-shaped people.
The Oompa-Loompas sing a song about a woman who chews gum for so long that she eventually chews her own tongue in half. They also briefly sing about a group of cannibals who have cooked someone.
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Obsession: When Wonka announces his contest with the Golden Tickets, people begin to panic and behave badly in pursuit of the tickets. A gangster robs a bank and spends all the money on candy bars. A woman tries to win the contest by creating a fake Ticket. A machine supposedly calibrated to find gold tickets tries to yank a gold tooth from a woman's mouth.
Alcohol: Wonka has a room for creating Butterscotch and Buttergin, which have alcoholic content. Wonka says the Oompa-Loompas love these beverages because they make them drunk as lords.
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