Study Guide

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Foolishness and Folly

By Roald Dahl

Foolishness and Folly

Chapter 3
Prince Pondicherry

"'Nonsense!' shouted the Prince. 'I'm not going to eat my palace! I'm not even going to nibble the staircase or lick the walls! I'm going to <em>live</em> in it!'" (3.5)

Okay, Prince Pondicherry. We understand that most palaces are meant to be lived in. But are most palaces made of chocolate?

Chapter 6

The famous English scientist, Professor Foulbody, invented a machine which would tell you at once, without opening the wrapper of a bar of chocolate, whether or not there was a Golden Ticket hidden underneath it. […] But unfortunately, while the Professor was showing off the machine to the public […] the mechanical arm shot out and made a grab for the gold filling in the back tooth of a duchess who was standing near by. (6.6)

This machine might have seemed like a good idea at first, but once we think about it, a robot arm grabbing anything gold sounds a wee bit dangerous. It seems like the professor got so caught up in the search for the Golden Ticket, he didn't think too hard about his design.

Chapter 11
Charlie Bucket

"I think," he said quietly, "I think... I'll have just one more of those chocolate bars. The same kind as before, please." (11.8)

Poor Charlie. This is his most foolish moment in the story. But he's such a good kid, the craziest thing he can do is buy another chocolate bar, even though he doesn't really need it, and could spend the money on something a little more healthful. If that's Charlie being foolish, he's generally in good shape.

Chapter 17

But Augustus was deaf to everything except the call of his enormous stomach. He was now lying full length on the ground with his head far out over the river, lapping up the chocolate like a dog. (17.8)

Augustus is being quite foolish, of course, but he's also being totally selfish. After all, he has a cold. Gross. So we don't feel too sorry for him when he falls in the river and gets stuck in the tube.

Chapter 21
Mr. and Mrs. Beauregarde

"Now, Violet," said Mrs. Beauregarde, her mother, "don't let's do anything silly, Violet."
"I want the gum," Violet said obstinately. "What's so silly? (21.8-9)

Oh, now this is interesting. Violet is, shall we say, not the sharpest tack in the box. To her, wanting the gum is all that matters, even though she has no idea what kind of crazy things might happen to her if she chews it. Of course we know chewing this particular gum would be more than silly – it would be downright dangerous.

Violet Beauregarde

"Oh, to blazes with that!" said Violet, and suddenly, before Mr. Wonka could stop her, she shot out a fat hand and grabbed the stick of gum out of the little drawer and popped it into her mouth. (21.11)

Violet doesn't think gum-chewing is so risky. She wants that gum, and she'll chew it. Who cares what happens afterwards? As it turns out, she does.

Chapter 22
Willy Wonka

"Well, well well," sighed Mr. Willy Wonka, "two naughty little children gone. Three good little children left. I think we'd better get out of this room quickly before we lose anyone else!" (22.1)

Now we've got the real story. It's the naughty children – who make foolish choices – who are gone. But the well-behaved ones will get to see the rest of the factory. Or so we think…

Chapter 24
Willy Wonka

"Don't!" said Mr. Wonka quickly, but he was too late. The girl had already thrown open the door and rushed in. (24.20)

Why won't any of these kids listen? It seems like no matter what Mr. Wonka or their parents say, these kids do the exact opposite. Except our Charlie, of course.

Chapter 25

Mrs. Salt bent further forward to get a closer look. She was now kneeling right on the edge of the whole with her head down and her enormous behind sticking up in the air like a giant mushroom. It was a dangerous position to be in. She needed only one tiny little push... one gentle nudge in the right direction... and <em>that</em> is exactly what the squirrels gave her!" (25.56)

Up until now, it's mostly been the children who have been foolishly misbehaving. But here, Mrs. Salt behaves just as dumbly as her daughter. And of course, she pays for her own mistake, too.

Chapter 27

But there was no stopping Mike Teavee. The crazy boy rushed on, and when he reached the enormous camera, he jumped straight for the switch, scattering Oompa-Loompa right and left as he went. (27.12)

Mike Teavee, the last of the kids besides Charlie, turns out to be just as foolish as the rest, even though Mr. Wonka has told him that sending himself through the television "might have some very nasty results." (27.8)