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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | Chapter 8 : Two More Golden Tickets Found | Summary

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Summary

When Mr. Bucket comes home from work on the night of Charlie's birthday, he brings news that the third and fourth Golden Tickets have been found. The third was found by a girl named Violet Beauregarde. Violet's passion is gum, which she chews nonstop. She took time off gum-chewing to buy Wonka candy bars, but as soon as she found the ticket, she went back to gum.

The fourth ticket-finder is nine-year-old Mike Teavee, a toy-pistol-toting TV addict. Mike won't stop watching television long enough to tell reporters how he found the ticket. Instead, he orders them to stop interrupting his show, every now and then firing one of his pistols into the air.

Once again, Charlie's grandparents are disgusted by the behavior of the latest winners, and both children do seem loathsome. Violet likes to stick used gum onto elevator buttons; Mike dreams of being a gangster so he could shoot and stab people all day long. It certainly seems as if the four Golden Ticket winners are an undeserving bunch. And now there's only one chance left.

Analysis

Once again, readers find Roald Dahl introducing children who appear to be parodies of Americans. Violet's constant gum-chewing, her loud, rapid speech, and her general insolence immediately mark her out as someone to shun. Mike's love of both violent TV and guns is clearly also meant to repulse the reader, although contemporary readers, with their own immersion in often-violent video games, might perceive this character somewhat more sympathetically.

Mike Teavee's preoccupation with shoot-'em-up shows reflects dawning American concern over the influence on children of violent television. In the 1950s Congress, educators, and parents first took up the topic of media violence. By the 1960s when Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was written, several studies appeared to show a correlation between watching violent TV programs and violent behavior. More sophisticated studies seem to disprove the theory that watching violent TV affects children's behavior. But in 1964 Mike Teavee would have seemed an alarming example of what could happen if children watched too much TV. No wonder Charlie's grandparents found him so unsettling!

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