These two very old people are the father and mother of Mr. Bucket (1.1).
It's the first line of the book, and already we know that we're dealing with a family. And a quirky one at that, with a last name like Bucket.
Charlie felt it worst of all. And although his father and mother often went without their own share of lunch or supper so that they could give it to him, it still wasn't nearly enough for a growing boy. (1.14)
Wow. Check out how much Mr. and Mrs. Bucket love their son. They're willing to go without their own meals in order to feed their growing boy. They seem like pretty great parents.
"Perfectly true!" cried Grandma Josephine. "And he sends them to <em>all </em>the four corners of the earth. Isn't that so, Grandpa Joe?" (2.18)
Here we see the grandparents teaming up to tell Charlie about the chocolate factory. They're clearly thrilled that they're getting a chance to share a nice moment with their grandson.
But as soon as they heard the door opening, and heard Charlie's voice saying, "Good evening, Grandpa Joe and Grandpa Josephine, and Grandpa George and Grandma Georgina," then all four of them would suddenly sit up, and their old wrinkled faces would light up with smiles of pleasure. (2.2)
All the grandparents, too, really love Charlie. He must be an awesome kid to have around. He brings life into his rather sad house – even his old, ill grandparents light up when they see him.
"We'll share it. I want everybody to taste it." (7.26)
No wonder his parents and grandparents love him so much. Charlie, like them, wants the best for everyone. He's even willing to share his only birthday present with all of them. Shmoop can't guarantee that if we were in the same place, we wouldn't gobble that chocolate bar right up.
All the children, except Charlie, had both their mothers and fathers with them. (13.5)
Charlie's family is not your typical family. After all, both sets of his grandparents live in the house with him and his parents. So it makes sense that when he gets to the factory, he'll stand out because he's the only kid with just a grandparent by his side. And while we're on that subject, why do you think he takes Grandpa Joe, and not Mr. and Mrs. Bucket?
<em>"For though she's spoiled, and dreadfully so, A girl can't spoil herself, you know. </em>Who<em> spoiled her, then? Ah, who indeed? </em>Who<em> pandered to her every need? […] They are (and this is very sad) Her loving parents, MUM AND DAD." </em>(24.67)
Think about Veruca Salt's parents. And now think about Charlie's. Could they be any more different? Veruca's "loving" parents spoil her rotten, while Charlie's parents struggle to even feed their family. That hardly seems fair. But then, like Mr. Wonka says, it all comes out in the wash.
Old Grandpa Joe staggered to his feet and caught hold of a strap. Little Charlie, who couldn't possibly reach as high as that, put his arms around Grandpa Joe's legs and hung on tight. (25.37)
How sweet – Grandpa Joe's got Charlie covered. And Charlie can count on Grandpa Joe to be there for him, even when he can't quite reach the handholds in the elevator.
"Calm yourself, my darling wife," said Grandpa Joe, stepping out of the elevator. "It's only us." (30.34)
It's nice to see that, even at ninety-six, Grandpa Joe is affectionate with his wife. Maybe that's why this is such a loving family – because the grandparents set a loving example.
"We must go at once and fetch the rest of the family – Charlie father and his mother and anyone else that's around! They can all live in the factory from now on! They can all help to run it until Charlie is old enough to do it by himself!" (30.14)
Mr. Wonka's quite the family man, too. He could just give the factory to Charlie and tell him he can have it when he turns eighteen. But instead, he wants to bring the whole family in on the deal. And we can't help but be excited for them. Who could possibly deserve a break more than the Buckets?