Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl, is a family fun film that inspires curiosity, creativity, and imagination to all its viewers, but is that all it offers?
On a spiritual level, what does it say about humanity through the characters such as Veruca Salt, Augustus Gloop, Mike Teavee, Violet Beauregarde, and sweet little Charlie Bucket?
Those who have watched the movies, read the books, or even seen a play such as this can all agree that the children’s characters are all a little…extreme. Perhaps the reason they are portrayed in an extreme way is because it’s supposed to represent something. Perhaps these children represent us, because we are all children at heart, right?
Allow me to explain. Veruca Salt represents greed. She wants things instantaneously and even when she has what she wants, she always wants more. Augustus Gloop represents over indulgence. He wants more and more chocolate. Even though chocolate is yummy, too much of it can be an issue. Mike Teavee represents worldly pleasures. He’d rather be consumed with video games and his own selfish wants than interact with the world around him. Violet Beauregarde is the definition of “in it to win it” and puts winning above anything and everything else in her life. They all want something, and selfishly so, except for Charlie. Yes, Charlie marveled at Willy Wonka’s factory, and yes, he desired the golden ticket in the beginning, but he treasured family and love and would have rather lived without all the riches in the world than without his family. It reminds me of the following passage; I think it’s something we all can dwell upon as the play progresses. Matthew 6:19-20: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
This story is loved for its kookie characters and wacky, creative world. But with that comes a deeper theme that I think children as well as adults can take away. So sit back, relax, and enjoy Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and all the joys and lessons it has to offer!
-Alia Shenk ’19
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