The way that different characters consume or think of chocolate correlates to their wealth and privilege. For instance, Charlie Bucket and his family are extremely poor, so the only chocolate Charlie ever gets is a single candy bar every year on his birthday. This on its own drives home how poor Charlie’s family is, if a 10-cent chocolate bar is a once-per-year luxury item. Furthermore, the narrator notes that Charlie makes his candy bar last a whole month by nibbling only a tiny bit of it every day. Charlie nevertheless longs to live a more economically secure life in which he can afford to eat chocolate more often—this is why he stops every day on his walk to and from school to sniff the chocolatey smells coming from Mr. Wonka’s chocolate factory. The way that Charlie craves and savors chocolate highlights his poverty and his desire for a better life—one where a luxury like chocolate isn’t so rare.
Augustus Gloop, on the other hand, reveals how wealthy and privileged he is through the way he greedily consumes chocolate. He eats dozens of candy bars every day—and according to Mrs. Gloop, his mother, this is because Augustus needs the vitamins in chocolate. However, readers are meant to infer that Augustus eats so much chocolate simply because he wants to, and because his privileged circumstances allow him to. Unlike for Charlie, chocolate isn’t a luxury for Augustus—it’s an everyday staple food. In Augustus’s case, then, his gluttonous relationship to chocolate represents his easy, indulgent lifestyle.
At the end of the novel, Charlie learns that Mr. Wonka is going to bequeath the factory to him, a moment that crystallizes Charlie’s ascension into a higher economic class. Living at the factory, Charlie is never going to want for chocolate again, which more broadly represents the newfound comfort and security that his life as an heir will afford him.
Chocolate Quotes in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
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.
“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.”
“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.
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?
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!