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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | Chapter 26 : The Television-Chocolate Room | Summary

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Summary

The Television Chocolate room is so bright that Mr. Wonka presses sunglasses on everyone. When his eyes have adjusted, Charlie sees they're in a white room that's dominated by an enormous camera on wheels. "A whole army of Oompa-Loompas" is gathered around the camera, "oiling its joints and adjusting its knobs and polishing its great glass lens." Charlie can tell the Oompa-Loompas are tense: something about this camera is dangerous.

Six Oompa-Loompas come in carrying a mattress-sized piece of chocolate and position it in front of the camera lens. One of them presses a switch, and there's a blinding flash. The huge chocolate bar vanishes. Mr. Wonka rushes the group over to a large television at the other end of the room. The screen lights up, and a small chocolate bar appears in the middle of the screen.

"Take it!" says Mr. Wonka to Charlie. The boy reaches out and touches the screen, and the chocolate bar comes away in his fingers. "It's the same bar!" Mr. Wonka says. "It's gotten smaller on the journey, that's all!"

He explains that this process will be used for television commercials. An announcer will say that if people don't believe Wonka's chocolates are the best in the world, they should try one—now. Then viewers will be able to reach out and pick up the chocolate that appears on their screen.

Analysis

Since he can't bring his bad habit to the chocolate factory with him, Mike Teavee is the least annoying of the four minor contestants. Throughout the book he often says something quite sensible that Mr. Wonka refuses to hear. In this chapter he tells Mr. Wonka that his explanation of how TV works isn't quite right, and of course he's correct. But Mr. Wonka's explanation sounds valid enough, and it turns out he is right when he transmits the huge bar of chocolate from one end of the room to the other. He doesn't explain why broadcasting mattress-sized pieces of chocolate would make good advertising sense or how he'll be able to transmit more than one bar at a time, but the process is still being worked on.

In any case the explanation does work after all, and there's something very satisfying about watching Charlie pluck a bar of chocolate out of the TV screen. "It will change the world!" cries Grandpa Joe.

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