Mr. Bucket, however hard he worked, and however fast he screwed on the caps, was never able to make enough to buy one-half of the things that so large a family needed. There wasn’t even enough money to buy proper food for them all. The only meals they could afford were bread and margarine for breakfast, boiled potatoes and cabbage for lunch, and cabbage soup for supper. Sundays were a bit better. They all looked forward to Sundays because then, although they had exactly the same, everyone was allowed a second helping.
Charlie felt it worst of all. And although his father and mother often went without their own share of lunch or supper so that they could give it to him, it still wasn’t nearly enough for a growing boy. He desperately wanted something more filling and satisfying than cabbage and cabbage soup. The one thing he longed for more than anything else was…CHOCOLATE.
He was the only bright thing in their lives, and his evening visits were something that they looked forward to all day long. Often, Charlie’s mother and father would come in as well, and stand by the door, listening to the stories that the old people told; and thus, for perhaps half an hour every night, this room would become a happy place, and the whole family would forget that it was hungry and poor.
“Wouldn’t it be something, Charlie, to open a bar of candy and see a Golden Ticket glistening inside!”
“It certainly would, Grandpa. But there isn’t a hope,” Charlie said sadly. “I only get one bar a year.”
“You never know darling,” said Grandma Georgina. “It’s your birthday next week. You have as much chance as anybody else.”
“I’m afraid that simply isn’t true,” said Grandpa George. “The kids who are going to find the Golden Tickets are the ones who can afford to buy candy bars every day. Our Charlie only gets one a year. There isn’t a hope.”
The picture showed a nine-year-old boy who was so enormously fat he looked as though he had been blown up with a powerful pump. Great flabby folds of fat bulged out from every part of his body, and his face was like a monstrous ball of dough with two small greedy curranty eyes peering out upon the world.
“Oh, it was terrible! My little Veruca got more and more upset each day, and every time I went home she would scream at me, ‘Where’s my Golden Ticket! I want my Golden Ticket!’ And she would lie there for hours on the floor, kicking and yelling in the most disturbing way. Well, sir, I just hated to see my little girl feeling unhappy like that, so I vowed I would keep up the search until I’d got her what she wanted. Then suddenly… on the evening of the fourth day, one of my women workers yelled, ‘I’ve got it! A Golden Ticket!’” […]
“She needs a real good spanking,” said Grandma Georgina.
“I don’t think the girl’s father played it quite fair, Grandpa, do you?” Charlie murmured.
“He spoils her,” Grandpa Joe said. “And no good can ever come from spoiling a child like that, Charlie, you mark my words.”
“‘And who’s she to criticize, anyway, because if you ask me, I’d say that her jaws are going up and down almost as much as mine are just from yelling at me every minute of the day.’”
“‘Now, Violet,’ Mrs. Beauregarde said from a far corner of the room where she was standing on the piano to avoid being trampled by the mob.
“‘All right, Mother, keep your hair on!’ Miss Beauregarde shouted.”
“That child,” said Grandpa Joe, poking his head up from under the blanket one icy morning, “that child has got to have more food. It doesn’t matter about us. We’re too old to bother with. But a growing boy! He can’t go on like this! He’s beginning to look like a skeleton!”
“What can one do?” murmured Grandma Josephine miserably. “He refuses to take any of ours. I hear his mother tried to slip her own piece of bread onto his plate at breakfast this morning, but he wouldn’t touch it. He made her take it back.”
“He’s a fine fellow,” said Grandpa George. “He deserves better than this.”
The tall bony old figure of Grandpa Joe could be seen standing quietly among them, and beside him, holding tightly on to his hand, was little Charlie Bucket himself.
All the children, except Charlie, had both their mothers and fathers with them, and it was a good thing that they had, otherwise the whole party might have gotten out of hand. They were so eager to get going that their parents were having to hold them back by force to prevent them from climbing over the gates.
“Don’t you think they look pretty? I told you I hated ugliness! And of course they are all eatable! All made of something different and delicious! And do you like my meadows? Do you like my grass and my buttercups? The grass you are standing on, my dear little ones, is made of a new kind of soft, minty sugar that I’ve just invented! I call it swudge! Try a blade! Please do! It’s delectable!”
Automatically, everybody bent down and picked one blade of grass—everybody, that is, except Augustus Gloop, who took a big handful.
“Daddy!” shouted Veruca Salt (the girl who got everything she wanted). “Daddy! I want an Oompa-Loompa! I want you to get me an Oompa-Loompa! I want an Oompa-Loompa right away! I want to take it home with me! Go on, Daddy! Get me an Oompa-Loompa!”
“Now, now, my pet!” Her father said to her, “we mustn’t interrupt Mr. Wonka.”
“But I want an Oompa-Loompa!” screamed Veruca.
“All right, Veruca, all right. But I can’t get it for you this second. Please be patient. I’ll see you have one before the day is out.”
Augustus Gloop, as you might have guessed, had quietly sneaked down to the edge of the river, and he was now kneeling on the riverbank, scooping hot melted chocolate into his mouth as fast as he could.
“Save him!” screamed Mrs. Gloop, going white in the face, and waving her umbrella about. “He’ll drown! He can’t swim a yard! Save him! Save him!”
“Good heavens, woman,” said Mr. Gloop, “I’m not diving in there! I’ve got my best suit on!”
Charlie was holding tightly onto his grandfather’s bony old hand. He was in a whirl of excitement. Everything that he had seen so far—the great chocolate river, the waterfall, the huge sucking pipes, the candy meadows, the Oompa-Loompas, the beautiful pink boat, and most of all, Mr. Willy Wonka himself—had been so astonishing that he began to wonder whether there were could possibly be any more astonishments left. Where were they going now? What were they going to see? And what in the world was going to happen in the next room?
“I want the gum!” Violet said obstinately. “What’s so silly?”
“I would rather you didn’t take it,” Mr. Wonka told her gently. “You see, I haven’t got it quite right yet. There are still one or two things….”
“Oh, to heck 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. At once, her huge well-trained jaws started chewing away on it like a pair of tongs.
Her body was swelling up and changing shape at such a rate that within a minute it had turned into nothing less than an enormous round blue ball—a gigantic blueberry, in fact—and all that remained of Violet Beauregarde herself was a tiny pair of legs and a tiny pair of arms sticking out of the great round fruit and a little head on top.
“It always happens like that,” sighed Mr. Wonka. “I’ve tried it twenty times in the Testing Room on twenty Oompa-Loompas, and every one of them finished up as a blueberry. It’s most annoying. I just can’t understand it.”
For though she’s spoiled, and dreadfully so,
A girl can’t spoil herself, you know.
Who spoiled her, then? Ah, who indeed?
Who pandered to her every need?
Who turned her into such a brat?
Who are the culprits? Who did that?
Alas! You needn’t look so far
To find out who these sinners are.
They are (and this is very sad)
Her loving parents, MUM and DAD.
And that is why we’re glad they fell
Into the garbage chute as well.
“That isn’t exactly how [television] works,” said Mike Teavee.
“I am a little deaf in my left ear,” Mr. Wonka said. “You must forgive me if I don’t hear everything you say.”
“I said, that isn’t exactly how it works!” shouted Mike Teavee.
“You’re a nice boy,” Mr. Wonka said, “but you talk too much.”
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink—
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSES IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK—HE ONLY SEES!
‘All right!’ you’ll cry. ‘All right!’ you’ll say,
‘But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!’
We’ll answer this by asking you,
‘What used the darling ones to do?
‘How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?’
Have you forgotten? Don’t you know?
We’ll say it very loud and slow:
“Mind you, there are thousands of clever men who would give anything for the chance to come in and take over from me, but I don’t want that sort of person. I don’t want a grown-up person at all. A grownup won’t listen to me; he won’t learn. He will try to do things his own way and not mine. So I have to have a child. I want a good sensible loving child, one to whom I can tell all my most precious candy-making secrets—while I am still alive.”
“I’m afraid my mother won’t come with us,” Charlie said sadly.
“Why ever not?”
“Because she won’t leave Grandma Josephine and Grandma Georgina and Grandpa George.”
“But they must come too.”
“They can’t,” Charlie said. “They’re very old and they haven’t been out of bed for twenty years.”
“Then we’ll take the bed along as well, with them in it,” said Mr. Wonka. “There’s plenty of room in this elevator for a bed.”
“You couldn’t get the bed out of the house,” said Grandpa Joe. “It won’t go through the door.”
“You mustn’t despair!” cried Mr. Wonka. “Nothing is impossible! You watch!”