Study Guide

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Genre

By Roald Dahl


Children's Literature; Satire and Parody

While we'd like to think adults would enjoy this romp through Charlie's world, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is without a doubt geared toward children. We can tell just by looking at the very first thing we see when we open the book. The cast of characters tells us, "There are five children in this book." The children are the stars, and the adults are just along for the ride.

"What about satire?" you ask. Good question, and we warn you, there's a definition headed your way. Satire is a form of literature that makes fun of particular follies or faults people might have. It does so by exaggerating a lot, and it is often written with the intention of pointing out these faults so that people might change.

Okay, great. We've got that down. But what exactly is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory poking fun at? And what's it hoping to change? Let's see. What do all these naughty children have in common? They're greedy. They don't listen to their parents or think about the consequences of their actions. They are, in a word, selfish. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a successful satire because it pokes fun of these children for their selfishness, and in doing so, reminds us all to be a little more like Charlie.