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Themes

It's a mad, mad world in <em>Charlie and the Chocolate Factory</em>. Mr. Wonka's quirky. The Oompa-Loompas are nuts. Even Grandpa Joe, at times, seems a little bit loony. For all its madness, though, the chocolate factory is a ton of fun. In fact, maybe that's why it's so much fun; it's just plain crazy, and we're along for the ride. Every time a character like Violet Beauregarde or Mike Teavee tries to make sense of it, even more insanity ensues.

So what are we meant to do in the face of all this madness? Enjoy it, of course. Charlie and Grandpa Joe sure do. In fact, they seem to think all the zaniness isn't really so zany after all – it's just miraculous. And if you witness a miracle, we're betting you might ask yourself if you've lost your mind. But you haven't: it's just the chocolate factory. Dig in.

Questions About Madness

  1. Okay. We're dying to know. Is Mr. Wonka really crazy? Or just… different?
  2. What's the craziest event in the story? Tell us why you picked that one.         
  3. If Mr. Wonka and Charlie came crashing through your roof in a glass elevator, do you think you'd get on board? Check out the grandparents' reactions in Chapter 30 for an idea of how you might respond.           
  4. Which of the children do you think is the most nuts? Why?

Chew on This

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

Mr. Wonka isn't crazy. In fact, he's clearly the sanest out of all the characters (except, maybe, Charlie). There's a method to his madness.

Of all the mad things Mr. Wonka does, giving Charlie the chocolate factory is by far the maddest.

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