Mr. Wonka explains that this is his best invention yet: the gum is an entire three-course dinner. The fathers in the group are disbelieving, but Mr. Wonka explains that with this gum, there won’t be any more grocery shopping, dishes, or mess. This particular piece of gum is tomato soup, roast beef, and blueberry pie. When Violet asks how this works, he explains that the chewer can feel the food going down their throat and will be satisfied after. Veruca says that’s impossible, but Violet says it’s gum—so she’ll take it. She puts her piece of gum behind her ear and asks for Mr. Wonka’s gum.
This gum seems to exist somewhere between being absurd and practical. It suggests that Mr. Wonka wants to make the world a better, more convenient, easier place for people to live—and that inventing the items that will help bring about that change is fun and fulfilling. Violet seems to expect that she’s going to get the gum—like Veruca and Augustus, she’s spoiled and expects to get whatever she wants.
Gently, Mr. Wonka says that the gum isn’t quite right yet, but Violet grabs the gum with a “fat hand” and shoves it in her mouth. As Mr. Wonka shouts “Don’t!” and begs Violet to spit it out, Violet shouts about how good the tomato soup and roast beef are. Mrs. Beauregarde tells Violet that she’s clever, and Mr. Beauregarde is thrilled that his daughter will be the first to have a meal of chewing gum. Charlie and Grandpa Joe gape at Violet as Mr. Wonka wrings his hands.
Mr. Wonka gives Violet a warning here, since the gum isn’t safely edible yet—but Violet disregards him and selfishly takes the gum. Again, the novel associates vice with being overweight when it describes Violet grabbing the gum with a “fat hand.” Her “fat hand,” much like Augustus’s overweight body, is associated with her greed and selfishness.
Violet shouts that she’s gotten to the blueberry pie and cream. It’s wonderful—but Mrs. Beauregarde shrieks. Violet tells her mother to be quiet, but Mrs. Beauregarde shouts that Violet’s face is turning blue. Mr. Wonka sighs that the gum isn’t perfect yet as Violet’s whole body, even her hair, turns blue like a blueberry. As Violet starts to swell, Mr. Wonka says that it always goes wrong at dessert. Mrs. Beauregarde says that Violet is swelling like a balloon—but Mr. Wonka says that she’s turning into a blueberry. There’s no saving her: Violet is now a huge blueberry with a tiny head, arms, and legs.
Violet had a good reason to listen to Mr. Wonka—he knew that chewing the gum would go badly for her, and that she’d have remained her normal self if she’d listened. Here, the novel’s link between greed and weight becomes even clearer, as Violet is essentially punished for her greed by becoming even more enormous than Augustus was. In the world of the novel, being overweight is an indicator of moral inferiority, and it’s considered a punishment.
Mr. Wonka sighs that he keeps trying this one on Oompa-Loompas, and they all turn into blueberries. He doesn’t understand it. Mrs. Beauregarde commands Mr. Wonka to fix Violet, so Mr. Wonka snaps his fingers. Ten Oompa-Loompas appear to take Violet to the Juicing Room, where she’ll be squeezed. The Oompa-Loompas roll Violet back to the boat, the Beauregardes behind them.
Again, Mr. Wonka doesn’t express concern or remorse for having turned multiple Oompa-Loompas into blueberries. Though the Oompa-Loompas may be the most moral figures of the novel, they nevertheless have the least amount of power and don’t receive any respect.
Charlie whispers that the Oompa-Loompas are singing again. They sing about how there’s nothing worse than “some repulsive little bum” chewing gum. Chewing gum, they insist, will never end well. They tell the story of a woman named Miss Bigelow, who chewed gum all day—and when she couldn’t find gum, she’d chew things like linoleum or people’s underwear. Eventually, Miss Bigelow’s jaws grew strong, and couldn’t stop chewing—and one night, while she was asleep, they chewed her tongue in half. She spent the rest of her life in a sanatorium. Violet is still young, so the Oompa-Loompas will try to save her. They hope that she survives the cure.
The Oompa-Loompas take issue with chewing gum specifically it makes a woman’s jaw big and strong (that is, more masculine), and it’s also framed as being another type of greed. Miss Bigelow, for instance, couldn’t help but take anything in front of her to chew, to the point that she chewed her own tongue in half. This, the novel suggests, was part of Violet’s problem: she selfishly believed she always needed something to chew, and so ended up in a dangerous situation.