Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | Study Guide

Roald Dahl

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | Chapter 13 : The Big Day Arrives | Summary

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Summary

Huge crowds have gathered in front of Wonka's factory to watch the Golden Ticket holders go in. Charlie and Grandpa Joe are standing quietly, but the other four winners are so eager to get through the gates they have to be pinned down by their parents.

People in the crowd excitedly talk about the winners. Someone points out that Violet Beauregarde is still chewing the three-month-old stick of gum. Another onlooker comments on how enormous Augustus Gloop is. "Look at all those crazy pistols he's got hanging all over him!" yet another person shouts about Mike Teavee. A fourth person is eager to see Veruca Salt, whose father gives her anything. "She only has to start screaming for it and she gets it!"

Charlie overhears someone wondering why he's not wearing a coat. He squeezes Grandpa Joe's hand. A church clock begins to strike 10, and the factory gates slowly swing open.

The crowd falls silent. Then: "There he is!" someone shouts.

Analysis

The main accomplishment of this chapter is to provide a quick review of the other four winners before readers meet them in person. Dahl has people in the crowd describe them, which is more interesting than making the narrator do it.

Notice that the four other children all have funny names. Augustus Gloop sounds like a name Dickens would invent for an enormously fat person. A "veruca" is a wart on the sole of the foot (as Mr. Wonka will comment in the next chapter). In French, Violet Beauregarde's last name literally means "Beautiful regard"; figuratively, it means "respected" or "highly regarded." And what's better than Teavee as a last name for a television addict?

Of course "Bucket" is a funny last name as well. One critic suggests Dahl chose this surname because Charlie is essentially a character who absorbs experiences. Maybe that's true.

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