Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Theme of Greed
It's one of the seven deadly sins, and for a reason. Greed, especially in this story, makes people do not-so-smart things (like fall in a chocolate river or build a violent, faulty robot). You'll notice that almost every greedy person gets his comeuppance in this book. The world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is not one that tolerates selfishness. Despite the fact that it's an unfair world, where the selfless Buckets struggle to get by and the selfish Salts succeed, Dahl makes sure everything is right side up in the end (and in the chocolate factory), and rewards the Buckets with a well-deserved new life.
Questions About Greed
- While it seems like practically all the secondary characters in the book are greedy, someone has to take the cake. So who is it? Who's the greediest person in the book? And what's his or her greediest moment?
- Is Charlie ever greedy? When? How so?
- Why do you think Willy Wonka designs a contest that rewards greedy people? Seriously, think about it. The more money you have, the more chances you'll have to win a Golden Ticket. That hardly seems fair to us. Does it seem fair to you?
- Do you think Grandpa Joe is being greedy when he says he wants to be the one to go with Charlie to the chocolate factory? Take a closer look at that scene and tell us what you think.
Chew on This
Everyone in this book is greedy, and Charlie and Willy Wonka are no exception.
Greed is good. When characters are greedy, it often pays off.