Proudly, Mr. Wonka says the Oompa-Loompas have been imported from Loompaland. Mrs. Salt insists there’s no such place; she’s a geography teacher. Mr. Wonka says that Mrs. Salt should know everything about Loompaland, being a teacher. He says the country is terrible: it’s full of thick jungles, “infested” with dangerous beasts like hornswogglers and whangdoodles. Whangdoodles eat Oompa-Loompas 10 at a time, so the Oompa-Loompas were struggling to survive. They lived high in trees, starving because all they had to eat were nasty green caterpillars.
Mrs. Salt believes that she knows all there is to know about the world, but Mr. Wonka makes it clear that she doesn’t. There’s more to learn, this passage suggests, if a person keeps an open mind and is willing to learn new information. Then, it’s also worth noting that saying the Oompa-Loompas were “imported” from Loompaland makes the Oompa-Loompas seem less human. People immigrate to new countries; they’re not imported like material goods are. It’s possible, then, that the Oompa-Loompas were shipped here and forcibly put to work in Mr. Wonka’s factory without agreeing to this arrangement.
What the Oompa-Loompas really wanted, Mr. Wonka says, was cacao beans—but those were hard to find. Cacao beans, incidentally, are what chocolate is made out of. So once Mr. Wonka discovered that the Oompa-Loompas loved cacao, he called on the tribe’s leader (who was starving) and offered him a deal. If the Oompa-Loompas came to work in Mr. Wonka’s factory, they could eat as many cacao beans as they wanted and could even receive cacao beans as wages. The leader agreed, and Mr. Wonka shipped the entire tribe home. The Oompa-Loompas now speak English and love music, dancing, and mischief.
The way that Mr. Wonka describes the Oompa-Loompas resembles how the narrator has described Charlie. They’ve both come from difficult circumstances where they went hungry—and they all crave chocolate in some form. Again, Mr. Wonka saying that he “shipped” the Oompa-Loompas to the factory deprives them of their humanity.
Veruca Salt interrupts Mr. Wonka’s explanation to shout that she wants an Oompa-Loompa. Mr. Salt first tells Veruca not to interrupt, but then promises that he’ll get her one by the end of the day. Then, Mrs. Gloop shouts for Augustus to stop—unsurprisingly, he’s kneeling at the riverbank, scooping chocolate into his mouth.
That Veruca asks for an Oompa-Loompa like this—and that Mr. Salt agrees to get her one—is dehumanizing, as the way they speak about the Oompa-Loompas suggests that they’re more like animals than people, even though they’re described as people earlier in the chapter. Mr. Salt is also sending Veruca mixed messages about what behavior is appropriate. Telling her not to interrupt seems, at first, like he’s trying to teach her to be polite. But immediately after this, he tells her that she can have an Oompa-Loompa, which teaches Veruca that she can still get whatever she wants—no matter how rudely she asks for it. Finally, saying that it shouldn’t be surprising to readers that Augustus is drinking out of the river means that readers are supposed to infer that he’d do this—presumably, because he’s overweight, and the novel attributes Augustus’s greed to his size.