Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
by Roald Dahl
The Greedy Crowd
Check out the scene in the shop when Charlie finds his Golden Ticket in Chapter 11. Have you ever seen a greedier crowd of people? In fact, it seems like everyone in the book (besides the Bucket family, Willy Wonka, and the shopkeeper, of course) is greedy.
Let's take a closer look. After the first two Golden Tickets are found, "the whole country, indeed the whole world, seemed suddenly to be caught up in a mad chocolate-buying spree" (6.6). Everyone wants that Golden Ticket for himself or herself, and people are willing to do pretty much anything to get it. One man robs a bank to buy more chocolate. A woman named Charlotte Russe makes a fake Golden Ticket. And a scientist named Professor Foulbody makes a machine to look for gold in the wrappers, so he won't have to do all the work himself (6.6). Then, when Charlie finds his Golden Ticket, the bystanders in the shop go nuts with envy. Two people even offer to buy it from the poor kid (11.21-22).
So why are all these people so very greedy? For one thing, the greedier everyone else in the book is, the more selfless and kind Charlie Bucket and his family seem. All these selfish people make us root for Charlie all the more when he finds that Golden Ticket, because we, like the shopkeeper, can see that out of all the people in this book, he's the one who needs it most. And deserves it, too.