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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | Study Guide

Roald Dahl

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | Chapter 2 : Mr. Willy Wonka's Factory | Summary



Every evening after supper Charlie goes into his grandparents' bedroom to chat before saying goodnight. The four old people and Charlie's parents look forward eagerly to these moments. For half an hour the family can be happy together.

One evening Charlie asks about Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Is it really the biggest in the world, and is Mr. Willy Wonka really the cleverest chocolate maker? The question rouses the old people, especially 96-year-old Grandpa Joe. Excitedly he tells Charlie about the factory's wonderful candies. Mr. Wonka has a magical way with sweets. He can keep ice cream from melting in the hot sun and chewing gum from losing its taste. There's nothing he can't do with candy.

Grandma Josephine asks Grandpa Joe to tell the story about Prince Pondicherry, which he does in the next chapter.


Roald Dahl's inventive imagination is on full display in this chapter. The sweets invented by Mr. Wonka are not only delicious; many of them are magic as well. Dahl is clearly a candy lover. Reading a list of his creations is like standing in front of a candy counter and being unable to pick a favorite. But Dahl's manic creativity is balanced by his ability to be sincere when it matters.

Notice the heart-warming empathy with which Dahl describes the delight Charlie's visits bring to his grandparents. His candy descriptions run wild, but his emotional language is simple and direct—and unsentimental. "For they loved this little boy. He was the only bright thing in their lives," says Dahl. He reminds readers that the Buckets are poor, but he also makes the point that even poverty and hunger can be kept at bay by love and good storytelling.

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