The story starts with how Charlie is a young boy with great ambition. Charlie comes from a destitute family. They cannot afford to fulfill his dream.
Every day as he goes to school, he passes by the secretive Willy Wonka factory. He longs to take a sneak peek and that is when he gets a chance! Willy Wonka announces that he has hidden golden tickets in five chocolate bars. And whoever wins will get the chance of visiting his factory. Who all will win? Of course Charlie will as is evident from the title. Read the book to find out.
Charlie lives with Grandma, Grandpa, and his parents. They all live together in a cramped house. But for them, money doesn’t matter! The fact that they love each other and share their woes and happiness is what takes precedent over material desires.
The news of Wonka’s plan sends a sensation across the town. Children throng the market to buy the chocolate in anticipation of winning the lucky draw.
Charlie can afford only two bars. And as he prays, good-luck favours him. He finds the golden ticket in the second bar. Charlie is ecstatic and he breaks the news to his family. Each child is to be accompanied by one adult. Charlie chooses his Grandpa!
The five chosen children are announced. But who will inherit the factory?
There is Augustus Gloop who is greedy. He loves chocolate. A parallel can be drawn here with Bruce from Matilda. He is punished as he falls into the river of chocolate and is sucked in by the liquid pipe that turns chocolate into fudge. Next comes the gum-obsessed Violet Beauregarde. She steals a piece of experimental chewing gum, which turns her into a blueberry. Veruca Salt loves squirrels and as she tries to capture a trained squirrel for herself, the squirrels recognize her to be a ‘bad nut’ sucking her into the nut machine. Mike Teavee tries to carry out an experiment of selling candy bars through TV and he is shrunk to the size of a dwarf.
The inside of the chocolate factory is magical, and the workers are revealed to be the tiny cocoa-loving Oompa-Loompas, rescued from Loompaland by Wonka.
The Oompa Loompas are workers in Wonka’s factory. They are a different race. Imaginary?
But Wonka says:
‘Of course, they are real people. They are Oomph Loompa.’
As each person passes through a trial, the winner alone stands – Charlie!
In praise of the book, a quote:
‘In your wildest dreams, you cannot imagine that such things could happen to you! Just wait and see!’
Just like Enid Blyton and the Disney classics that mix magic with realism, so does Roald Dahl do.