Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
by Roald Dahl
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Theme of Rules and Order
We might think of a fantasyland like the chocolate factory as a place that doesn't have any rules (there are square treats that look round, mischievous Oompa-Loompas, and all kinds of logic-defying sights). But it does. Willy Wonka is forever telling these kids (and their parents) to keep their paws off the merchandise. Yet, when we stop to think about it, these are not just rules – they're good advice. Willy Wonka is looking out for the kids' safety and, of course, the safety of his precious chocolates. So it makes sense then that Charlie wins the factory. Throughout all of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he's the only kid that followed the rules, which is to say, he listened.
Questions About Rules and Order
- Did the punishments fit the crimes?
- Why didn't the other children learn their lessons?
- Why in the world would Willy Wonka invite five children to come visit his factory if he's not going to let them touch anything? That seems like a recipe for disaster.
- Did you ever wish Charlie would break the rules a bit? We admit it – we did. At what point in the story did you most wish Charlie had found his inner rebel?
Chew on This
This book isn't about rules at all. It's about listening and following instructions, and that's just good old fashioned common sense.
You can't blame these kids for breaking the rules – it's entirely their parents' faults.