Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | Study Guide

Roald Dahl

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | Chapter 6 : The First Two Finders | Summary

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Summary

The day after the Golden Ticket contest is announced, a nine-year-old boy named Augustus Gloop finds a ticket. Augustus is a terrifically obese boy who eats so many candy bars that it would have been strange for him not to come across one with a Golden Ticket inside.

Once the first Golden Ticket has been found, the world goes into a buying frenzy. Children take hammers to their piggy banks; gangsters rob banks to get the cash for more candy bars. A professor even invents a machine that can detect and grab anything in the vicinity that's made of gold.

On the day before Charlie's birthday, the second Golden Ticket is found. This time, the finder is a rich girl named Veruca Salt, whose doting father buys thousands of candy bars and has his workers unwrap them until a ticket turns up.

Charlie's grandparents are loud in their criticism of both children's indulgent parents. Even Charlie thinks Veruca Salt wasn't playing fair. But the following day is his birthday, when he'll get his annual candy bar. Maybe there will be a third Golden Ticket waiting inside!

Analysis

Though Roald Dahl is British, Augustus Gloop and Veruca Salt and their parents sound like stereotypical Americans seen through European eyes. Augustus is fat, Veruca spoiled. Veruca's father uses clichéd "American" expressions like "fellers" and "Well, sir ..." The two other children who find Golden Tickets will also embody the "ugly American" stereotype.

It doesn't take away from the humor to point out that Dahl's attitude is tinged with prejudice and a certain longing for an idealized past. In this chapter he's lamenting the days (if they ever existed) when parents didn't coddle their children and children were content with what they were given.

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