A classic penned down by Roald Dahl in 1964, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is still popular amongst children today and rightly so. A light read for children and adults alike, it is a fun combination of adventure, sensibility, humour and morality.
The story is about a sweet boy, Charlie Bucket, who leads a miserable life of poverty. The scenes are described with such exquisite and eye catching detail that one can almost feel the constant pangs of hunger and desperation that the family goes through. Despite the depressing situation, the love between him and his family makes Charlie’s life bearable. The lives of his grandparents is summed up vividly in this sentence: They were as shriveled as prunes, and as bony as skeletons, and throughout the day, until Charlie made his appearance, they lay huddled in their one bed, two at either end, with nightcaps on to keep their heads warm, dozing the time away with nothing to do.
Charlie’s life turns around when he is given the opportunity to visit the famous chocolate factory. Along with Charlie, four other badly behaved children win the golden tickets to take the tour of Mr. Willy Wonka’s factory. Mr. Wonka is an endearing genius with extremely creative ideas for his chocolate factory- chewing-gum meal, hair toffee, lickable wallpaper for nurseries, hot ice creams, fizzy lifting drinks, invisible chocolate bars, sugar-coated pencils, luminous lollies and many more. Inside the factory follows a series of wonderfully exciting adventures as the author takes us into an extraordinary imaginary world of innumerable corridors, countless magical rooms, the meadow constructed entirely of chocolate and edible sugar, the ride down the chocolate river and the great glass elevator flying out of the top of the factory roof.
There are moral undertones amongst all this fun and creativeness. When the four obnoxious brats misbehave and violate Mr. Wonka’s warnings, they suffer the consequences and their flaws ultimately seal their fates. The lesson is taught through wit, sarcasm and dry humour. To avoid being preachy, the author uses an element of poetry and gets the message along through the Oompa-Loompa songs. At the end Charlie is the only child left, due to his kindness, modesty and good behavior. And as a reward he inherits the chocolate factory.
The highly entertaining adventure story captivates all audiences. Roald Dahl has managed to widen the readers’ imagination by creating such a fantastic and wonderful world full of highly memorable characters. The book is well crafted, and the dialogues are edgy and witty. The core strength of the book lies in Roald’s brilliant imagination, which enhances the joy of reading this very pacey and eventful story.