WTFAW: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Time for some more fan theories. For todays subject, we will be discussing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Dave: Shouldn’t this article be called Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?

Seeing as A) We’re talking about the book, as well as both movies and B) I’m the one writing the article?

No. We’re calling it Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. Anyway, what are the theories?

Dave: The first one is that the characters in the story all correspond with the seven deadly sins.

Right… I spot a slight flaw in this, but go on…

Dave: Ok, so Augustus is obviously Gluttony. That one’s a given. Violet is Pride, Mike is Sloth, and Veruca is Greed.

That’s 4. You’re missing a few sins, aren’t you?

Dave: Ah, but I’m not! Charlie is Lust, Grandpa Joe is Envy and Willy Wonka is wrath!

Well, that does indeed make seven. So let’s go over them, shall we? See, it’s another of those theories where all parts have to fit, otherwise the theory collapses. Now, I do agree that Augustus is a glutton, and that Veruca is greedy. These two do fit. But how does Violet define Pride?

Dave: Because she’s boastful, of course!

But… that’s not pride in the sense of sin. That’s pride in accomplishment, something she has achieved. In the book, she’s boasting about having the world record for chewing a piece of gum. In the 2005 movie, she’s an accomplished athlete, obsessed with winning. THAT’S what she’s proud of, not some inherent superiority over others.

And then there’s Mike, for Sloth?

Dave: Well, he watches TV all day.

Yes, but he’s hardly indolent. He’s jumping around, firing pistols into the air, and in all adaptations, he’s shown to be just as active as the other children. In fact, I would argue Veruca is more fitting for sloth, seeing as she had her father get the ticket for her, instead of finding it herself.

And then, there’s Charlie for Lust. Exactly how does Charlie display lust. I’m talking the movies or book, not some demented fan fic of yours.

Dave: Well, it’s not lust in a sexual sense, just an intense desire.

Desire for what?

Dave: Oh gee, I wonder what. The golden ticket, obviously!

First off, everyone wanted the golden tickets, and the prize it entailed. He’s not exactly alone in that. But even if he was, there’s a big problem.

Dave: Yeah?

What you just described is not lust. It’s GREED. And Grandpa Joe is Envy? How do you figure that?

Dave: He envies Wonka!

What!? What do you base that on? He doesn’t envy Wonka. He adores the man! He raves and rants about how amazing and clever Wonka is. That is not envy, that’s ADMIRATION.

And finally, Wonka as Wrath. Explain.

Dave: He punished everyone else for their flaws.

…Well, except for Charlie, who he gives his entire factory.

Dave: Ah, but he threw him out first.

First of all, that’s from the first movie, and doesn’t happen in the book or the 2005 movie. Secondly, when that happened, that was not punishment, it was a test of character!

See, there’s that big problem I alluded to earlier. That problem being, we already KNOW what the characters represent!

Dave: What?

The four bad children embody characteristics that Roald Dahl hated. He hated spoiled children, greedy children and ignorant and bad mannered children. Charlie won the prize, because he was the antithesis of those traits. He was kind, generous and well mannered.

Which, perhaps ironically, was one of the criticisms against the 2005 movie, with charlie being almost unreal in how sweet and loveable he was, compared to the first movie.

Dave: Wait… did you just defend the second movie, over the first one?

That I did. Well spotted. Now, I believe you had a second theory.

Dave: Oh, right. The second theory is that Willy Wonka is a child murderer, and he uses children to make candy. He takes on Charlie as a protegé to continue his legacy.

Ok, I’ll bite. What do you base that on?

Dave: Wonka knew the children would die in the factory, seeing as the boat they go on have no spare seats and-

Die? Augustus was sucked up a pipe. That is not “dead”. That’s “sucked up a pipe”. Those are not the same thing.

Really, out of all the bad kids, only Veruca was in potentially mortal danger, being thrown into a (thankfully) unlit garbage incinerator.

Dave: Ah, but how do we KNOW it’s unlit.

Because we see both her and her dad at the end of the story. Dirty, stinking and pissed off, but very much alive. Same with all the other children. Both in the book and 2005 movie, they are all shown to be alive.

Dave: But not in the first movie.

That’s true. But you haven’t actually given a reason to WHY he’d go to such insane lengths to kill children.

Dave: His father was an abusive dentist who hated candy and forced him to wear a huge dental rig. You don’t think that would screw him up?

But.. that’s from the 2005 version! You know, the version where we see the kids come out alive! You are actively contradicting yourself!

Dave: But in the early drafts of the book, there were supposed to be more children and-

In the book where, again, all the children are revealed to come out unharmed! What does that have to do with the movie?!

Dave: Well, Dahl worked on the screenplay….

And the screenplay was rewritten by David Seltzer, which was one of the reasons Roald Dahl disowned the movie.

But really, think about it. What would be gained by making candy out of kids? Disregarding the ethical issues, it’s a waste of time and effort, when we see him do so much more amazing things with what he has already. Remember, this is the first time in ages Wonka has allowed anyone into his factory. How then can he use kids to make candy up until this point?

And finally, there’s the idea that Charlie would continue in his footsteps. His defining trait is how kind hearted he is, and you suggest he’s just going to develop psychopathy, rather than find the idea disturbing?

Dave: Well, he IS a bit of a blank slate…

He’s a fully rounded human being! He’s not some robot you program, and switch from “nice kid” to “psychopath“!

So you see, this theory doesn’t work. There is literally no reason to think Willy Wonka would let anyone entering the factory come to any real harm.

He’s a chocolate maker, not the fucking Jigsaw killer.

And if you needed further proof of how stupid this theory is: It was spoofed in “Epic Movie”.

Dave: A movie that is marginally worse than the 2005 “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” movie.

That’s not really fair. The 2005 movie was fine.

Dave: Oh, come on! Why did they have to remake that!? The first one was already perfect.

A bold statement… How about we look a bit closer into the accuracy of that?

Dave: Oh god, no…

 

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