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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

by Roald Dahl

Family Theme

Family is clearly the most important thing to our little Charlie Bucket. How do we know? For one thing, he's willing to share his birthday chocolate bar with all six members of his family, even though he only gets one bar a year. That's love right there. But let's not forget the other families in <em>Charlie and the Chocolate Factory</em>. The Gloops, Salts, Beauregardes and Teavees have quite a different family dynamic than the Buckets do. We can't imagine Augustus or Veruca sharing a chocolate bar with their parents. Those families all experience frightening, unfortunate events as a result of their selfishness, whereas the Buckets, somewhat begrudgingly, have their dreams come true. In the end, we think, this book shows us that families are about hope. If you are generous with your family, and if you stick together, you can get through tough times like Charlie and his loved ones. But if you're selfish, you might just end up at the bottom of a garbage chute, where you belong.

Questions About Family

  1. How would the story be different if Charlie had a brother or sister?
  2. What would have changed if Grandpa Joe didn't ever get out of bed? 
  3. Will Charlie ever have a family of his own?     
  4. Where is Willy Wonka's family? Why do you think he doesn't seem to have any children?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, family is the most important thing of all. It's more important than food, clothes, shelter, and – gasp! – chocolate.

Roald Dahl is trying to show us that families can blind us to each other's faults, which is definitely not a good thing.

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