Study Guide

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Chapter 1

By Roald Dahl

Chapter 1

Here Comes Charlie

  • Our narrator jumps right into things, introducing us to the main characters. He even has pictures to help us out.
  • First, there are four old – ahem, elderly – people: Grandpa Joe and Grandma Josephine (the parents of Mr. Bucket) and Grandpa George and Grandma Georgina (the parents of Mrs. Bucket).
  • Moving down the family tree, we've got Mr. and Mrs. Bucket and their son, Charlie.
  • Charlie introduces himself to us readers. Really – go check it out, Roald Dahl really makes us feel like we're there right from the beginning.
  • The family lives together in a small house: the four grandparents sleep in one bed together (sleep and live, we should say: they never get out of bed). The other three sleep on mattresses on the floor.
  • Clearly, this family is poor; Mr. Bucket has a job in a factory, screwing the caps onto toothpaste tubes, but he doesn't make enough to buy everything they need.
  • They eat the same meals every day, but on Sunday, they can have seconds.
  • Even though his parents give him some extra food sometimes, Charlie is always hungry. And, being a young boy (and a human being, for that matter) all he can think about is chocolate.
  • He sees chocolate every day, but only gets to eat it once a year: on his birthday. It's so precious, that he'll eat it tiny piece by tiny piece, to make it last a month. Now that is some will power.
  • To make things worse, in Charlie's town there is an "ENORMOUS CHOCOLATE FACTORY!" (1.18) (That's actually how it's written – we'd probably write it that way anyway since it's the best thing ever, but it turns out we're just quoting the book.)
  • The factory belongs to Willy Wonka, famed chocolate-maker, and it lets off a smell of chocolate so wonderful that when Charlie passes it every day on his way to school, he wants nothing more than to go inside the factory.