Book review of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Author: Roald Dahl
“The one thing he longed for more than anything else was… CHOCOLATE.”
Sometimes all we need to make our lives a happy place is a change in perspective. Instead of taking everything seriously, what we need is to see the brighter side, instead of running after things we don’t have, what we need is to sit back and relax. To become a little more like the kids we used to be, rather than the adults we have become.
And Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a fantasy novel for children, is a perfect gateway to our childhood.
The novel is like a modern day fairy tale. We have little Charlie who loves chocolate, the biggest chocolate factory in the world, and 5 Golden Tickets that can win free entry to the chocolate factory. Then there are the ever so musical Oompa Loompas, the most adventurous and optimistic grandfather, and 4 horrible and spoiled kids who get what they deserve. But most importantly, we have Willy Wonka, who has to be one of the best and funniest in the literary world. He has a wicked and dark sense of humour which leaves the readers (both adults and children alike) in splits.
Take this for instance –
“Whipped cream isn’t whipped cream at all unless it’s been whipped with whips. Just as a poached egg isn’t a poached egg unless it’s been stolen from the woods in the dead of night”.
On one hand we have the poverty and hunger ridden Charlie Bucket, who gets chocolate only once a year, on his Birthday, and makes this small bar of chocolate last more than one month making us all the more grateful for having chocolate in our lives, and on the other we have Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory which is something straight out of our dreams. It has a chocolate room, a chocolate fountain, a chocolate river and a great gum machine and a freaking lemonade swimming pool. Wonka is a culinary genius, he makes Eatable Marshmallow pillows, Lickable wallpaper for nurseries, hot ice cream for cold days, invisible chocolate bar for eating in class, hell! he even has exploding sweets for your enemies. How we wish we could win a Golden Ticket for ourselves and go inside the chocolate factory to eat all these yummy treats!!!!!
Dahl makes the plight of young Charlie so real that readers madly root for Charlie to win a golden ticket because he deserves to win one. There is an air of excitement when Charlie unwraps a chocolate bar and then of disappointment when he doesn’t. And the glorious moment when he finally finds the last golden ticket is the most satisfying scene of the novel.
The best thing about fairy tales and most of the children’s novel is its happy ending and as clichéd and stereotypical as it may sound, sometimes a simple plot, uncomplicated story line and a happily ever after is all we need to restore our faith in the world.
At one point in the novel, an overexcited Willy Wonka exclaims –
“Overjoyed! Enraptured! Enchanted! All right! Excellent!”
And that is pretty much how one feels after finishing this joy of a novel.