Study Guide

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Awe and Amazement

By Roald Dahl

Awe and Amazement

Chapter 1

Oh, how he loved that smell! (1.22)

Have you noticed just how many exclamation points Dahl uses in this story? If exclamation points don't show awe and amazement, we don't know what does.

What a tremendous, marvelous place it was! (1.20)

We haven't even seen inside the chocolate factory, and neither has Charlie. But we already know it's going to be awesome. For now, we'll just let our imaginations do the work.

In the town itself, actually, within <em>sight</em> of the house in which Charlie lived, there was an ENORMOUS CHOCOLATE FACTORY!
Just imagine that! (1.19)

Who wouldn't be amazed by an enormous chocolate factory? Even in the first chapter, we readers know we're in for all kinds of surprising delights.

Chapter 11
Charlie Bucket

Charlie hadn't moved. He hadn't even unwrapped the Golden Ticket from around the chocolate. He was standing very still, holding it tightly with both hands while the crowd pushed and shouted all around him. He felt quite dizzy. (11.20)

It's almost as if time has stood still. Charlie is totally unable to believe his own luck. And Dahl describes the moment so perfectly, it feels like we're standing right next to Charlie, jaws on the floor.

Chapter 15

The children and their parents were too flabbergasted to speak. They were staggered. They were dumbfounded. They were bewildered and dazzled. They were completely bowled over by the hugeness of the whole thing. They simply stood and stared. (15.8)

In case we can't get the hint, Dahl gives us a whole string of words to show the awe and amazement everyone must be feeling, followed by the classic shock pose: standing and staring. After all, what else can you do when you're "completely bowled over?"

Mr. Wonka opened the door. Five children and nine grown-ups pushed their ways in – and <em>oh</em>, what an amazing sight it was that now met their eyes! (15.2)

Dahl's such a good writer that he manages to perfectly recreate the feeling the families must have had when they walked in to the factory. Check out the way he interrupts the sentence. The families are simply walking into the factory, and – boom! Suddenly they're in the most amazing place on earth. When we read the sentence, we feel the shock of the sight too.

Willy Wonka

"Isn't it terrific?" (15.7)

Even Mr. Wonka is amazed by his own creations, as if he's seeing them for the first time.

Chapter 18
Charlie Bucket

Everything that he had seen so far – the great chocolate river, the waterfall, the huge sucking pipes, the minty sugar meadows, the Oompa-Loompas, the beautiful pink boat, and most of all, Mr. Willy Wonka himself – had been so astonishing that he began to wonder whether there could possibly be any more astonishments left. (18.10)

Charlie hasn't had a lot of astonishments in his life. He's been hungry and poor for quite a while. So imagine how spectacular it must feel to wander among minty sugar meadows and chocolate rivers. If anyone deserves such fun, it's Charlie.

Chapter 25
Charlie Bucket

Charlie Bucket stared around him in astonishment. This was the craziest elevator he had ever seen. There were buttons everywhere! (25.7)

The chocolate factory is astonishing right down to the last detail. Even the elevator.

Chapter 27
Grandpa Joe

"It's absolutely fantastic!" gasped Grandpa Joe. "It'''s a miracle!" (27.29)

What's so great about <em>Charlie and the Chocolate Factory</em> is that even the adults get to join in on the awe and amazement. Grandpa Joe hasn't had a very easy life, but now, at the ripe old age of ninety-six and a half, he gets to witness a miracle.