For the month of May, the book chosen for BHA is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It so happened that I have the book unread. So this was the perfect chance for me to read it and at the same time, join BHA for the first time.
Here’s the plot description from the back cover of the book:
But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaw around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!
There are actually two film adaptations of the book and I was able to watch both versions – the 1971 and 2005 productions. I’m sure most of you have already watched the movie of either one of the versions, so the story would not be unfamiliar to the majority.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is such an enjoyable read. The book may just be short, but the way Roald Dahl has written it will make readers be immersed in the story. The narration is so detailed that readers will devour every word and description about chocolates, candies, chewing gums, and most importantly, about Willy Wonka’s magical factory. Even though I’m not a fan of sweets, this book convinces me enough to want to visit Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
While I read the book, I actually had fun meeting the five children who won the Golden Tickets. All of them have very diverse personalities and of course, Charlie Bucket is the most likable one. It would definitely be hard to come across someone like him. For the rest, well, I need not say more.
Can you imagine a chocolate that is more filling and satisfying than any food you could think of? That’s Mr. Wonka’s chocolates for you – making everyone’s mouth water and drool over them! However, with an in-depth analysis of the book, there’s actually more to it than merely being a children’s book.
First of all, in economic concept, Willy Wonka’s announcement of the Golden Tickets has been a great marketing strategy to make more consumers buy his products. And of course, it is inevitable to have competitions between companies and it takes certain measures to bring some down. As in the book’s case, I understand the reason why Willy Wonka removed all his employees because I won’t deny the fact that this situation happens in reality especially in the corporate/business world. On the side note, I really don’t understand why people allow their greed to swallow their conscience. I guess it’s today’s high-tech version of survival of the fittest.
Second, topics about inequality and injustice between social classes are also discussed indirectly. Nuff said.
And last, the Oompa-Loompa songs. I just love the originality and creativity of Mr. Dahl’s composition of the songs. They consist of both literal and figurative meanings which are applicable in real life. Perhaps these can serve as a lesson to teach the children, too.
In conclusion, readers could tell that Roald Dahl has great imagination and this book, without a doubt, proves it. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has humor with a touch of weirdness to it which makes the book more fun and enjoyable to read. All I can say is that this is one heck of an adventurous ride to be lost in the world of imagination.