Originally posted 2017-03-21 15:44:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a 1964 children’s book by British author Roald Dahl. The story features the adventures of young Charlie Bucket inside the chocolate factory of eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was first published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. in 1964 and in the United Kingdom by George Allen & Unwin, later that same year. The book has been adapted into two major motion pictures: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in 1971, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 2005. The book’s sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, was written by Roald Dahl in 1971 and published in 1972. Dahl had also planned to write a third book in the series but never finished it.
The story was originally inspired by Roald Dahl’s experience of chocolate companies during his schooldays. Cadbury would often send test packages to the schoolchildren in exchange for their opinions on the new products. At that time (around the 1920s), Cadbury and Rowntree’s were England’s two largest chocolate makers and they each often tried to steal trade secrets by sending spies, posing as employees, into the other’s factory. Because of this, both companies became highly protective of their chocolate-making processes. It was a combination of this secrecy and the elaborate, often gigantic, machines in the factory that inspired Dahl to write the story.
An 11-year-old boy named Charlie Bucket lives in poverty in a tiny house with his parents and four grandparents. His grandparents share the only bed in the house, located in the only bedroom. Charlie and his parents sleep on a mattress on the floor. Once a year, on his birthday, Charlie gets one Wonka Bar, which he keeps for many months.
Willy Wonka, the owner of the Wonka chocolate factory, has suddenly decided to open the doors of his factory to five children and their parents after 10 years of keeping it sealed because his rivals were stealing his recipes. In order to choose who will enter the factory and also receive a lifetime supply of chocolate, Mr. Wonka hides five golden tickets in the wrappers of his Wonka chocolate bars. The search for the five golden tickets is fast and furious. Each ticket find is a media sensation and each finder becomes a celebrity. The first four golden tickets are found by the gluttonous Augustus Gloop, the spoiled and petulant Veruca Salt, the gum-addicted Violet Beauregarde, and the TV-obsessed Mike Teavee.
One day, Charlie sees a fifty-pence coin (dollar bill in the US version) buried in the snow. He decides to use a little of the money to buy himself some chocolate before turning the rest over to his mother. He buys two bars, and after unwrapping the second chocolate bar, Charlie finds the fifth golden ticket. The next day is the date that Mr. Wonka has set for his guests to enter the factory.
In the factory, Charlie and Grandpa Joe enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the factory, and encounter the Oompa-Loompas, a race of small people who have been helping Wonka operate the factory since he rescued them from poverty and fear in their home country of Loompaland. The other kids are ejected from the factory in comical, mysterious and painful fashions. Augustus Gloop falls into the Chocolate River when he wants to drink it, and he is sucked up by one of the pipes. Violet Beauregarde impetuously grabs an experimental piece of gum and turns into a giant blueberry. Veruca Salt is determined to be a “bad nut” by nut-judging squirrels who throw her out with the trash. The television lover, Mike Teavee, is shrunk to a tiny size and gets stuck inside a TV set. At the end, the children are seen going home as follows: Augustus squeezed thin by the pipe; Violet purple all over; Veruca covered in trash; and Mike 10 feet tall and thin as a wire after efforts to restore his proper size went wrong.
With only Charlie remaining, Willy Wonka congratulates him for “winning” the factory and, after explaining his true age and the reason behind his golden tickets, names Charlie his successor. They ride the great glass elevator to Charlie’s house and bring the rest of Charlie’s family to the factory.
The story continues in the sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.
by simon schofield