Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Chocolate Can Be Good For You

Title: Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
Author: Ronald Dahl
Illustrator: Quentin Blake

ISBN: 0141301155
Page #s: 155
Published: Originally 1964; 1998 Penguin Books

Began Reading: Nov. 8th '06
Finished Reading: Nov. 8th '06

The Guided Tour: One of Dahl's better known books, this Young Adults book is creepy and haunting - no wonder considering Tim Burten decided to make a film adaptation of it. For years teh willie Wonka Chocolate Factory has been closed to the public... until now. Now Mr. Willie Wonka himself is giving a tour plus candy for life to the five children that find a Golden ticket hidden in one of his chocolate bars (talk about marketing scheme!). Of the 5, our story focus' on Charlie - the poor boy who loves to listen to his grandfather speak of the days when the factory was open to everyone & walks by it every day. We follow him and the others through the chocolate waterfall, tv cholate transmitter room and 'meal in a gum' as we discover how a ordinary item becomes the centre of genius and imagination. Wonka's character portrayed through the eyes of the young boy is teasing, critical, witty and unpredictable. He more than anything makes this work a feast for the creative mind.

Comments: Dahl's innocent cruelty holds a ring of truth that strikes an inner cord - so suprising considering the size & nature of the text. Dahl is a STORYTELLER more so than a writer but his readers love him still & all the more for it. At first the idea of a 'candy factory' wasn't appealing. After all do we really need more contect such as this for our all-to-fat North American children. But it soon becomes clear that Wonka's imagination & intellect converts treat into a constructive populous tool - meal gum, hair canady, etc. The Yin/Yang of Charlie & his Grandpa Joe provides an interesting window of love and lineage. Wonka's empire is passed to the best suited individual not his protige yet we never lose the sense of family. Though not that of unconditional love but of un-ending responsability to each other.

Recommend to: Great for reading outload to your children & class. The 'Oompas 'do a wonderful job at fables & morality themselves. Interesting continuationwould be to explore a comparioson between Marquez & Dahl & their fantastic realilizim that goes well beyond the fictional norm yet still catagorized as such.


Cool Fact: - In Dahl's 1964 original work, the Oompa-loompas were 'a tribe of 3,000 amiable black pygmies who have been imported by Mr. Willy Wonka from the very deepest and darkest part of the African jungle where no white man had been before.' 10 years later, after much back and forth with individuals (notably Canadian writer E. Cameron) that protested this 'slave' imagery, Dahl released a new version of the OLs with the release of his sequal, Charlie and the Glass Elavator.
See for the letters Dahl exchanged with these protestors.
- Dahl worked at the Cadbury factory in his youth which was the basis of Wonka's 'business' behavior.
-There is a Lost Chapter that was recently brought to the publics attention. Another child was added to the group of visitors: Miranda the Tattle-Tale with her Father the school headmster. They were removed because Wonka's disposal of them was the most violent/harshest. Read on the chapter here:,,923-1703206,00.html

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

man this book sucks i read it and i fell f********** fell asleep