Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
by Roald Dahl
Grandma Josephine, Grandpa George, Grandma Georgina
Have you ever heard of something called a peanut gallery? These three grandparents sure fit the bill. They interrupt a lot, make all kinds of comments, and even talk in unison sometimes. They're especially judgmental of the other winners of the Golden Tickets, and have all kinds of not-so-nice things to say.
But we forgive them. And not just because those children do end up being so awful. We can't help but love this trio of grandparents because they are so wonderful to Charlie. They simply light up when they see him. After all, "He was the only bright thing in their lives" (2.2). Understandable, when you consider that they are old, tired, "as shriveled as prunes, and as bony as skeletons" (2.2).
Despite their old age, this group manages to be super enthusiastic about Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. When Charlie asks if it's true that the factory is really the biggest in the world, all three of them cry, "True? […] Of course it's true! Good heavens, didn't you know that? It's about fifty times as big as any other!" (2.4).
But that enthusiasm is nowhere to be found at the conclusion of our story. They seem pretty unwilling to move to Charlie's new factory at the end of the book. Grandma Josephine even says, "I'd rather die in my bed!" (30.42) Maybe they're just being stubborn, but it seems a bit odd, especially when you think about the fact that their house has just been destroyed. What's going on here, do you think?