Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | Study Guide

Roald Dahl

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | Chapter 23 : Square Candies That Look Round | Summary

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Summary

The top half of the door is made of glass, and everyone peers in to see the Square Candies That Look Round. They're white cubes, each painted with a face on one side.

"They don't look round to me," says Mike Teavee, who is often the voice of reason in the group. Veruca Salt agrees: "They look completely square." Mr. Wonka points out that they are square. "I never said they weren't ... I said they looked round." Mr. Wonka proves his point by flinging open the door. At the sound of the door opening, the little faces on each cube look around to see who's coming in. "Square candies that look round," says Mr. Wonka triumphantly.

On they rush again, passing a door with the sign BUTTERSCOTCH AND BUTTERGIN. Mr. Wonka says the Oompa-Loompas are inside drinking butterscotch and soda. "You can hear them in there now, whooping it up ... They're drunk as lords."

Again he urges the group to go faster. Mrs. Salt and Mrs. Teavee are now very out of breath, but Mr. Wonka won't stop to rest, saying that if he goes more slowly, they'll never get there in time.

Analysis

Modern children's books probably wouldn't present drunkenness as a joke, but young readers from the time of the book's publication to the present have enjoyed Dahl's tendency to thumb his nose at conventions.

Modern children's writers would probably also refrain from describing an overweight woman as a "great fat creature with short legs" who is "blowing [panting] like a rhinoceros." The descriptions may seem sexist and insensitive to modern ears, although readers can at least be fairly sure Dahl is not being malicious here.

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