Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | Study Guide

Roald Dahl

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | Chapter 11 : The Miracle | Summary

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Summary

Clutching his dollar bill, Charlie goes into the store and buys a Wonka's Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight. He wolfs it down and feels much happier. There are nine dimes in change. He'll have just one more.

He tears off the wrapper—and sees a flash of gold. He's found the fifth Golden Ticket.

The shopkeeper goes into a frenzy of excitement, and a crowd quickly gathers around Charlie. When people start offering to buy the ticket, the shopkeeper helps Charlie through the crowd and tells him to go right home. "I'm awfully glad you got it," he tells Charlie kindly.

Charlie rushes off toward home, pausing only to wave at the chocolate factory as he passes it.

Analysis

This short chapter is full of human interest.

The chapter title makes it clear what's going to happen. Even so, Dahl plays deliciously on the reader's sense of suspense. The previous chapter has made it clear that a Golden Ticket is the last thing on Charlie's mind; all the starving boy can think about is food. When Charlie buys his first candy bar, Dahl distracts readers from thinking about the ticket by focusing on how wonderful the candy tastes as Charlie swallows it. "The sheer blissful joy of being able to fill one's mouth with rich solid food!"

It wouldn't be realistic to have Charlie open the second bar slowly; he's too hungry for that. So Dahl has Charlie rip open the bar in the normal way—and the ticket is almost as surprising to the reader as it is to Charlie.

Dahl introduces a scarier kind of suspense when people in the crowd start pressing Charlie to sell the ticket. Luckily, the shopkeeper, who's been jumping and yelling hysterically, becomes a responsible adult again as soon as he hears the would-be buyers. At this point Charlie is so dazed he needs an adult looking after him.

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