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Charlie and The Chocolate Factory | Themes & Book Review

“So shines a good deed in a weary world”- Roald Dahl (Charlie and the chocolate factory)

If you are a young parent and struggling to teach your kid basic life ethics and manners, then 'Charlie and the chocolate factory' is the perfect book to gift them. Being an aunt of two little munchkins and my family not being much of a reader, I have always seen my siblings struggling to find the best way to give those little kids basic life lessons! I have always been a book reader, and Charlie and the chocolate factory is the perfect book to do so!

'Charlie and the chocolate factory' is Roald Dahl’s classic kids’ novel written in 1964. This novel revolves around various themes of life which I’ll discuss later in the section but trust me on this, once you read this novel you will definitely love it. It is one of those books whose movie is also worth a watch. With Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, and all the characters so perfect both the movie and the novel are a perfect blend for your kids to watch and see.

Not making you wait further let’s dive into the themes of Charlie and the chocolate factory. Btw it's no secret that even I have walked into adulthood, Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory is my biggest fantasy and I’ll do whatever it takes to be there.

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory Review

Charlie and the chocolate the factory is a novel based on a story of a young boy named Charlie who happens to live a poor life with his parents and 4 grandparents. His Grandpa Joe tells him the story of Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory, where shortly Willy Wonka introduces a contest where five lucky people who find a golden ticket in their chocolate bar will get a chance to visit his factory and they all will go home with a free lifetime supply of chocolate.

There are only 5 golden tickets which makes it a pure game of luck for everyone buying the chocolate. However, the richer class bought thousands of chocolate, and eventually, golden tickets have already been won, where Augustus Gloop is a self-centered obese child, Mike Teavee is obsessed with television, Veruca Salt is a spoiled brat, and Violet Beauregarde holds a record of chewing gum for the longest time. The announcement of four winners further decreases the probability of Charlie to win the ticket. However, luck is not for the rich alone and Charlie finds one ticket in his chocolate bar and along with the other four kids, he is invited to the chocolate factory. Well, how he gets the golden ticket is pure luck and you will know once you read it! As Roald Dahl says it,

“However small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance was there”

One winner was to be selected as the special winner. The one winner, who successfully completes the chocolate factory visit without indulging in the grand and interesting environment of the factory. Every character in the novel ends up with punishment as a result of their never-ending temptation and greed except for Charlie. Charlie has strong will power, which other characters in one way or the other lack. The Oompa Loompas take all those kids, who lost in the factory just because of their temptation! I won’t mention the individual temptation of each kid because then what’s left for you to read? 😉

In the end, only Charlie remains but how he remains is you’ll know when you read the novel! But what I can tell you is that Charlie and the chocolate factory is a novel which has multiple themes, where the most important theme is not going into the hands of greed and to have strong self-control. It tells the power of dreaming big and knowing that it will happen. It makes you be patient in the pursuit of what you want. Dreams do come true and this is what Grandpa Joe tells us in this novel,

“I've heard tell that what you imagine sometimes comes true.
-Grandpa Joe 

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory Themes

There are multiple themes in the book Charlie and the chocolate factory namely, greed, bad parenting, wealth vs. poverty, humility, and kindness, deceiving appearances, and most importantly what goes around comes around!

Greed

We all have grown up with one lesson that our elders quote, which is avarice is the root of all evils. The book shows the outcome of extreme greed. The four kids in the book show how greed consumes them and how their lives are changed forever. I won’t go much deep into how they are transformed because of “spoilers”.  Veruca a spoiled brat, Augustus a glutton, Violet’s greed for gum, and Mike’s greed for television is what changed their lives forever. On the other hand, our main character Charlie is shown as an epitome of a well-behaved and sensible child who knows how not to be consumed with such evils. His Grandpa Joe is one who accompanies at the factory is one of the other reasons why Charlie keeps himself composed throughout.

Bad Parenting

Honestly, even if this novel was written in the 1960s the story of this novel is more applicable in the current world scenario. I clearly remember how I and other kids of my age had boundaries in their childhood. Even if we asked our parents for something, they will always make sure we get it at the right time! But what we see today is that young parents are so quick at fulfilling the wishes of their kids, that the kids nearly can wait for a new thing to get their hands on. Kids today have become impatient and this is what Roald Dahl has shown in his novel a decade ago! The greed in kids is an outcome of bad parenting. The songs sung by Oompa Loompas (cutest yet wisest characters in the novel) show how bad parenting has corrupted the kids.

Humility and Kindness

The most notable thing in this novel is that no matter how hard their circumstances they never left being kind to each other. They should be compassionate for each other and how it held them as a family. The family has 4 bad ridden grandparents, but still, they all share their food and every joy and sorrow of their lives. Grandpa Joe, my favorite character shows how belief and kindness towards each other in a family can turn their lives upside down. Growing up in such a home slowly and gradually Charlie distances himself from other kids as the novel has to show a clear difference of how kindness can make a better human being and this is what makes Charlie win in the place!

Wealth and Poverty

There is nothing wrong with having wealth and there is nothing wrong in being poor either, but the real wealth is to be an honest, and patient human being. There is a clear difference in the novel between two types of kids and in fact families, where one has all the wealth in the world whereas the other has all the love and kindness of the world. By no means the novel dictates having wealth is bad, but it surely dictates that if your wealth makes you greedy, and makes you take wrong decisions, then surely that wealth is bad. Wonka created a fairyland which a no child in the world can get over with, but he wanted someone who is not tempted by external wealth. Where on the one hand other children lacked self-control and purity of heart, Charlie had both which made him won the factory.

Deceiving Appearances

Appearance is what we all see first and to be honest it's our very first judgment call. Sometimes we judge people by their appearances and never give a chance to their character to play a role. This is exactly what Charlie and the chocolate factory shows us. Charlie although by the looks of his and his family they are poor and that they have all the issues of the world, but in reality, they are kind-hearted and pure people. Similarly, Oompa Loompas are about the size of pygmies, but they play an important role in all the processes of the factory. The other kids are shown classy and wealthy, but they lack basic ethics. This novel instills the consciousness of the readers to perform a reality check at least once, that whether they are deceiving themselves and others through their appearances or not.

What Goes Around Comes Around

Every action and every word in this world return to you. It’s up to you to decide what you want from this world. The character in each novel is awarded as their personality is. The four bad-raised children Violet, Veruca, Augustus, and Mike face painful punishments in the factory because of their nature and personality. Whereas Charlie who has kind nature and understands the importance of self-control gets a reward.

What do I Think of it?

I loved it and I would rate it 5/5 for the best child’s fiction book. Why? Because it has lessons, we all need to learn. We have become so materialistic and driven with the energy of getting everything fast, we have lost the essence of our lives and the importance of kindness. It’s a book you not only want to gift it to your kids, but you want to read yourself as well.

 

Reviewed by Bisma Latif

She can be reached at writerbisma@outlook.com

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