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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | Chapter 12 : What It Said on the Golden Ticket | Summary



Charlie bursts through the front door, calling out his fantastic news. For 10 seconds, his mother and grandparents stare at him in blank silence. Grandpa Joe asks softly whether Charlie is joking, but when the boy shows him the ticket, the old man, "who hadn't been out of bed these last twenty years," jumps up and does a victory dance. In the midst of the excitement Mr. Bucket walks in, cold and tired. Charlie hands his father the ticket, and Mr. Bucket reads the printing aloud.

The ticket bears Mr. Wonka's greetings and his promises of amazing treats in store—as well as "enough delicious eatables" to last a lifetime. The text goes on to say that on February 1, each ticket-bearer and one or two family members must be waiting at the factory gates at 10:00 a.m. sharp.

"But that's tomorrow!" exclaims Mrs. Bucket. And so it is. Grandpa Joe rushes to claim the privilege of escorting Charlie. When Charlie's parents agree, Grandpa Joe grabs Charlie by the hands and dances around the room.

At this point a swarm of journalists and photographers pour into the little house. It's nearly midnight before they're all gone and Charlie can go to bed.


Pure action is the name of the game in Chapter 12, beginning with Charlie's 50-word sentence telling his mother how he found the ticket. The amazing transformation in Grandpa Joe makes it clear he's up for the task of accompanying Charlie. Despite having been in bed for 20 years, Grandpa Joe has already shown he's peppier than the rest of the family. Now he steals the scene from everyone, including his grandson.

Until Charlie finds the Golden Ticket, the style of the narration—although both funny and emotionally appealing—has been mainly expository. In this chapter Dahl makes it clear that from here on, playing with language will be part of the fun. This begins with Charlie's endless sentence and continues with the Golden Ticket, whose words are those of a great showman. Mr. Wonka promises "Mystic and marvelous surprises that will entrance, delight, intrigue, astonish, and perplex you beyond measure." Grandpa Joe's long list of instructions for Charlie is very funny. And the bowl of soup that flies into Grandma Josephine's face is a good sign that lots more mischief awaits the reader from this point on.

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