Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | Study Guide

Roald Dahl

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | Symbols


Golden Tickets

The Golden Tickets represent hope. The tickets are placed in five chocolate bars that could be "in any shop in any street in any town in any country in the world." While other children are wealthy enough to purchase numerous candy bars in order to find a ticket, Charlie's sole birthday chocolate bar will at least give him a chance to find one.

But Charlie's birthday bar leaves him disappointed. By the time he finds the dollar that will lead him to his ticket, he is too hungry and cold even to think about tickets. It's at that low point he finally gets what he has yearned for, making his win even sweeter for him and for the reader.


The Oompa-Loompas function as a kind of Greek chorus; in ancient Greek drama, the chorus would comment as a group on the action of the play, showing the audience how to respond. In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Oompa-Loompas comment on what it takes to be a good citizen and a moral person. For example, they point out that Veruca Salt didn't "spoil herself"—her parents are to blame.

Each time one of the four bad children comes to a nasty end, the Oompa-Loompas come up with a song to commemorate the occasion. What they sing would be considered scolding if spoken by the narrator, but their songs are so witty that the points they make—such as saying TV "rots the senses in the head" and "kills imagination dead"—don't seem overbearing. Nevertheless, the points they make are serious: if Mike Teavee had been a reader and not a TV-watcher, for instance, he would not have gotten himself into trouble.

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