“Good morning starshine the earth says hello….”
– ‘Charlie And The Chocolate Factory’.
I’ve always been a fan of salty more than sweet. But how can you resist chocolate?
Is there any magic formula?
Because I’ve never been able to!
It will be for the beneficial power, the flavor, I don’t know, but I know that I must always have a piece of it at home. I cannot eat tiramisu, pastries or donuts even for a whole year (it actually happened), but don’t take chocolate away from me!
With this premise, can you imagine how I read CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY by Roald Dahl?
I had just finished THE WITCHES, also by the author, and since I liked it very much, I was looking for another one with whom to deepen my knowledge, except that, in the small but well-stocked elementary school library, here is a captivating cover, with a beautiful golden ticket in the foreground and this very enjoyable title.
I took it home with very high expectations, and I must tell you that they have not been disappointed.
First of all, a funny curiosity that many do not know: The story is inspired by Dahl’s youth: when he went to high school in Repton, the famous chocolate manufacturer Cadbury used to send the students, boxes full of new types of sweets and a piece of paper to give them the grade. . Favorite sweets hit the market.
“Mr. Willy Wonka can make marshmallows that taste of violets, and rich caramels that change color every ten seconds as you suck them, and little feathery sweets that melt away deliciously the moment you put them between your lips. He can make chewing-gum that never loses its taste, and sugar balloons that you can blow up to enormous sizes before you pop them with a pin and gobble them up. And, by a most secret method, he can make lovely blue birds’ eggs with black spots on them, and when you put one of these in your mouth, it gradually gets smaller and smaller until suddenly there is nothing left except a tiny little dark red sugary baby bird sitting on the tip of your tongue.”
– Roald Dahl, ‘Charlie And The Chocolate Factory’.
Who wouldn’t want to be Charlie?
Not for the economic situation or for the atavistic hunger it brings with it, but for the golden ticket, absolutely! He and the other children -Augustus Gloop, devourer of sweets, Violetta Beauregarde, world champion of chewing gum, Veruca Salt, a very rich and very spoiled child and Mike Tivu, a couch potato- do not know that the true purpose of Willy Wonka, the owner of the famous chocolate factory, was to launch this competition to have people visit the factory and look for an heir to whom she can leave everything. Compared to the films, in the book the characters are plumbed to the guts, and Charlie’s family wins hands down, you can’t help but cheer for him.
The path in the factory is obviously full of obstacles and riddles and bizarre characters, and both as a child and as an adult, the most imaginative parts are my favorite! What is surprising is that Dahl manages to conceive and describe a lively imaginary world that truly smells of chocolate, sugar and candy! Her irony is not dissatisfying and the way she has to expose, to enrich the story with increasingly unusual, imaginative and fascinating details, keeps you glued to the pages.
“Of course they’re real people. They’re Oompa-Loompas…Imported direct from Loompaland…And oh what a terrible country it is! Nothing but thick jungles infested by the most dangerous beasts in the world – hornswogglers and snozzwangers and those terrible wicked whangdoodles. A whangdoodle would eat ten Oompa-Loompas for breakfast and come galloping back for a second helping.”
– Roald Dahl, ‘Charlie And The Chocolate Factory’.
I really liked the metaphor of chocolate that made a critical analysis of it (which I obviously didn’t read at the age of ten but very, very loooong after):
“Chocolate is a powerful metaphor for sweetness, goodness, warmth, joy, sharing, gift. Chocolate immediately gives us the meaning of goodness flowing in rivers, soft, enveloping, fragrant. It is the very breath of the family, the feeling that animates it (or that should animate it) and moves it. This icon, however, is flanked by the automated factory, gloomy and isolated. Goodness has become mechanical. The family has become the stereotype of itself. “
“Everything in this room is eatable, even I am eatable! But that is called cannibalism and is in fact frowned upon in most societies. Yeah, Enjoy!”’.
I don’t know how much chocolate I gulped down in those few days while reading the novel, but I think a lot, because I have a vague memory of associated inflammations and stomach aches. But it was worth it, and it continues to be, always.
 “The Chocolate Factory” is a book that many have known thanks to the enormous success achieved first by the film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and then by the film by Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp. But as always the paper version is much, much better !!!!
 “Gloop” combines two English words, “glop” (semi-solid food, lousy baby food) and “goop” (nauseating person). Augustus, greedy to the point of repugnance, cannot summarize these concepts in the best possible way
 It comes from a mangled French to indicate someone who is reflected in his own beauty. Violetta, worthy daughter of such a great mother, is attracted only by appearing and excelling. She is as ambitious as she is fake, as beautiful as she is empty.
 Literally: a salty sore, is there more to add?
 Mark is the prototype of the boy abandoned to videogames, a product of Superquark, the Power Rangers and the Playstation.
 “Wonk” is a term that identifies a boy who refuses the “social life” to hole up in the study. Willy, betrayed in his affections, isolates himself from everything by locking himself up in his own factory, surrounded by the little Oompa Loompa workers who guarantee him a substitute for human relationships.
 From the movie.