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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

by Roald Dahl

Mr. and Mrs. Gloop

Character Analysis

These parents are just as ridiculous as their name.

When we first meet Mrs. Gloop, she's explaining that she wasn't at all surprised her son found a Golden Ticket because "He eats so many bars of chocolate a day that it was almost impossible for him not to find one." She doesn't seem to care at all that her son is "enormously fat." (6.1). In fact, she's thinks, "that's better than being a hooligan and shooting off zip guns and things like that in his spare time, isn't it?" (6.2). Never mind that her son eats so much that "he looked as though he had been blown up with a powerful pump." (6.1). After all, "It's all vitamins, anyway." (6.2). Clearly Mrs. Gloop has got some blinders on when it comes to her son Augustus.

To be fair, she does show a more practical side when her son starts drinking right from the chocolate river: "You'll be giving that nasty cold of yours to about a million people all over the country!" (17.8). Her husband, too, has some pretty reasonable concerns, saying, "You're leaning too far out!"

But if we were hoping this means Mr. Gloop is a reasonable man, we're in for disappointment. When Augustus falls in the river and Mrs. Gloop tells Mr. Gloop to jump in after him, he shouts, "Good heavens, woman […] I'm not diving in there! I've got my best suit on!" (17.12) Looks like Mr. Gloop is as shallow as the chocolate river is deep.

Mr. Gloop's one redeeming quality is that he's really funny. While his wife worries herself sick over Augustus falling in the chocolate river and being sucked up the glass pipe, Mr. Gloop seems to have lost all sight of what's important, and to great comedic effect. Our favorite part? When Mr. Wonka says he'd never allow Augustus to become chocolate fudge because "the taste would be terrible [and] no one would buy it," (17.47), Mr. Gloop is downright insulted, crying "They most certainly would!" (17.48). Now those are some wacky priorities. Augustus might be turned into a delicious edible treat, and all Mr. Gloop can worry about is whether or not people might want to eat his son. Ridiculous, indeed.

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