Down The Book Cubbyhole

The Geeky Adventures of a Bookish Girl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — Roald Dahl

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When Roald Dahl was eight years old, he used to attend a boarding school near Derby. The reputed British confectionery company, Cadbury, would occasionally hand over newly developed chocolates and ask the delighted children to rate them. One of the lucky students was Dahl, who would normally fantasize about working in a laboratory where these chocolates were created. These frequent daydreaming eventually culminated into the widely popular and delectable story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

A beloved story among children and adults alike, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one tale that truly satisfies the craving of a certified chocoholic and candy addict. The imaginative visualization of the world-building that Dahl concocted was unequivocally drool-worthy, witty, humorous, and with an underlying sarcastic tone to it. He uses a hyperbolic fashion over the already maniacal narrative and characters which added more amusement into the story. Oh, the things he comes up with! Eatable Marshmallow Pillows. Exploding Candy for Your Enemies. Hot Ice Creams for Cold Days. Invisible Chocolate Bars for Eating in Class. Lickable Wallpaper for Nursery Walls. Square Sweets That Look Round.

He has a brilliant knack for laying upon the villains their fitting comeuppance with such cleverness and slapstick humor that will certainly spur indulgent laughter from kids and menacing satisfaction from adults. Though I don’t completely agree with the punitive measures overtly emphasized in the story, at least this one’s spared from the cannibalism that most fairy tales have as a cautionary cultural instruction that usually goes unnoticed. Take for examples the big bad wolf in The Red Riding Hood, the witch who loves to eat kids in Hansel and Gretel, the giant who loves to eat Englishmen in the Jack and the Beanstalk, and the stepmother who demands to eat her stepdaughter’s heart in Snow White.

The Oompa Loompas are widely known for their short figures, green hair, orange skin, and protruding knees. Yet there’s a shocking fact that only a few of the minorities know. In the original version, they were of African descent—African pygmies to be exact. This created pretty lavish controversies and criticisms which consequently resulted to the altered versions. (I have a habit of reading random stuff on the internet when I’m bored and I accidentally stumbled upon these facts.)

One reviewer said, “There’s a sinister undercurrent in the book that I missed completely when I was a kid.” And I agree. The brusque capitalist who caused poverty in his community by firing all of his workers in favor of unusual settlers that aren’t even allowed to leave the factory premises. Normally, that would account to slavery. But they are given limitless cacao beans, which are very rare in Oompaland, in exchange for working in the factory; so I guess that’s slavery by choice.

Nevertheless, a gratifying scrumptious treat for perky readers with a luscious aftertaste. A must-read for the upcoming holidays.

 

Rating: ★★★★✰

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