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RiffTrax Discussion => Individual RiffTrax Discussion => Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory => Topic started by: Fuzzy Necromancer on April 13, 2007, 04:38:34 PM

Title: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Fuzzy Necromancer on April 13, 2007, 04:38:34 PM
I read the book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" as a kid, and even then I found something a little distressing.

It's not that various kids where shunted off for personal vices that would be a bit of a stretch to categorize as moral shortcomings. It's not the strangeness of the oompa loompahs. It's just how eerily pro-slavery it felt.

The Oompah Loompahs working in the factory make up the entire population of Oompah land, or some such nation. They have an inherent, undeniable craving for chocolate, but cocoa beans are rare where they live, so Wonka just shipped them all over to work, where they get a chocolate bar every day.

In other words, they're a whole population transplanted, being paid in beans. Forget all the drug imagery stuff. (Yeah, you totally need to be high in order to think up the idea of a fat kid falling into a river of chocolate, or singing midgets. Such things are beyond the realm of human comprehension unless aided by powerful hallucinogens. 9_9 ) This is the real half- a-worm in the caramel apple that is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Petey Wheatstraw on April 13, 2007, 04:48:49 PM
No, I don't think so. Wonka helped them out. They were in danger of being eaten and killed, and had to eat food they hated. Wonka took them to a safe place where they would get to eat whatever they wanted, and in exchange, they did some work around his factory is all.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: sarcasm_made_Easy on April 13, 2007, 10:36:38 PM
no where in the book does it imply they cant leave if they dont want to. 
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: FrensaGeran on April 13, 2007, 10:43:32 PM
Then it's not slavery, it's extortion.

Sure, you can return to your terrible, deadly, dark homeland...OR you could work for me. So what's it gonna be?

They really don't seem to have a choice.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: sarcasm_made_Easy on April 13, 2007, 11:50:51 PM
your right it would be better they go back to the dank and most likely short lives in the jungle. 

granted we never said they couldnt leave the factory through the front door and go get jobs in the city either. 
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Sharktopus on April 13, 2007, 11:52:56 PM
Here's the real question: Would you hire an Oompa Loompa?
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Bob on April 14, 2007, 03:20:35 AM
Here's the real question: Would you hire an Oompa Loompa?

I think they would be really good and landscaping work as they work well as a team.   Heck, I'd pay them in chocolate to cut my lawn.   My dobermann may chase them a bit, but the cardio would be good for them.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: sarcasm_made_Easy on April 14, 2007, 03:54:33 AM
that depends if they randomly broke into song.  if yes then my answer would be no. 
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Ranika on April 14, 2007, 04:09:38 AM
Personally I wonder if Wonka's accounts of their life beforehand is accurate. If they love chocolate so much, wouldn't they have at least a vague supply of it? Though maybe it's like iron age Jews; the most meat many of them got was the Passover lamb. Maybe Oompa Loompas only got chocolate during a specific festival, or festivals. If so, I guess working for Wonka would be like a kind of promised land; chocolate every day! It's just like whatever there holy day was.

...Or maybe Wonka was just an extortionist dickface.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: sarcasm_made_Easy on April 14, 2007, 04:38:46 AM
Quote
...Or maybe Wonka was just an extortionist dickface.


exhibitionist maybe
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Scrivener on April 14, 2007, 05:53:31 AM
I read the book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" as a kid, and even then I found something a little distressing.

It's not that various kids where shunted off for personal vices that would be a bit of a stretch to categorize as moral shortcomings. It's not the strangeness of the oompa loompahs. It's just how eerily pro-slavery it felt.

I'm afraid you've got a point, Fuzzy.  The first edition of "Charlie" was pretty clear that the Oompa-Loompahs were African pygmies, with skin explicitly described as "almost black".  Only in later printings did the O-L's become orange and get a more fanciful place of origin.  Knowing that, the slavery vibe becomes disturbing indeed.

Sorry to be a bring-down, all.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Bob on April 14, 2007, 08:11:08 AM

I'm afraid you've got a point, Fuzzy.  The first edition of "Charlie" was pretty clear that the Oompa-Loompahs were African pygmies, with skin explicitly described as "almost black".  Only in later printings did the O-L's become orange and get a more fanciful place of origin.  Knowing that, the slavery vibe becomes disturbing indeed.

Sorry to be a bring-down, all.

Wow.... I had never read that before.    Thank for sharing.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Fuzzy Necromancer on April 14, 2007, 08:34:27 AM
No, I don't think so. Wonka helped them out. They were in danger of being eaten and killed, and had to eat food they hated. Wonka took them to a safe place where they would get to eat whatever they wanted, and in exchange, they did some work around his factory is all.

He shipped them out.. The entire population wanted to follow this bizzare purple-suited man into a strange land? They work and all they get for it is a place to live and food. That's the general job description of a slave, sans sweating bald man with whip. How do you know they're allowed to leave? One of the big points was that nobody ever got a glimpse of the workers, other than the small shadows seen in the windows.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: BathTub on April 14, 2007, 09:05:06 AM
Yeah it's one of those weird facts you learn.

From WonkaFacts (http://www.borg.com/~superman/index.html)

Quote
The Oompa Loompas in Roald Dahl's book, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", are described as being "Pygmies" which were "imported directly from Africa. They belong to a small tribe of miniature pygmies known as the Oompa Loompas." I guess the question at this point becomes - was this an anti-racist statement on Mr. Dahl's part? or just the opposite? I think the "enslavement" implications are quite clear. Kind of puts a new spin on the story, doesn't it? In some versions of the book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Oompa Loompas look like pygmies but in 1973 a version was released in which the Oompa Loompas were described as "short white hippies." I have a scanned picture from two different publications of the book which shows the two different types of Oompa Loompas. I believe this picture is from Jeremy Tregleown's book on Roald Dahl.

(http://www.borg.com/~superman/Images/pc.gif)
 
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: sarcasm_made_Easy on April 14, 2007, 07:14:16 PM
wow thats bizaarly terrifying.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Pak-Man on April 14, 2007, 08:42:20 PM
Oompa Loompas are just taking American jobs. :^)
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Hobbit on April 14, 2007, 08:59:49 PM
I'm not so much disturbed by the possible slavery reference to the oompa loompas (hey, at least he keeps them well-fed and sheltered, and doesn't even reprimand them for spontaneously breaking into condescending, creepy song and dance in front of guests) as I am with Grandpa Joe.  I mean, this is one of the protagonists, right?  He's supposed to be a good guy?  Well, first, let me point out how much of the movie he spends explaining how events of random chance actually work to balance the fairness of the world, and that wanting something enough will make it randomly happen, without associated effort towards increasing your chances.  He even manages to convince Charlie before opening any one piece of chocolate that there's an absolute 100% chance that it has a golden ticket in it because Charlie getting one of only 5 randomly distributed tickets, instead of, say, a child dieing of cancer or the people who are actually buying more chocolate, is an inevitable result of a fair world.  I might even be convinced to chalk that up to a horrible form of naivete or some type of dementia, but what about his alleged paralysis?  For 20 years, he's been unemployed and mooching off of his dirt-poor daughter, who can't really even afford to feed and clothe her only child, whose father is, for whatever reason, gone (I'm assuming he's dead, since his parents still live in her house and she tolerates them).  For 20 years, he's unable to lift a finger to go get a job, because he's paralyzed.  Fine, I'm willing to accept that, but then how come, after being offered a free ticket to an exclusive tour of a mysterious factory, he is suddenly able to not only walk, but get up and dance?  I ain't buying that lost balance act, either.  It wasn't very convincing.  And how come Grandpa's legs haven't atrophied?  After 20 years, those things should be the width of toothpicks and unable to hold up the weight of an emaciated mouse, much less a full (physically) grown man...unless Grandpa's been sneaking out to take midnight strolls while everybody's asleep.  It wouldn't even surprise me if he was dipping into his 'secret' retirement fund to buy booze.  The whole thing smells fishy to me.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Indomitus on April 15, 2007, 06:45:47 AM
Oompa Loompas are just taking American jobs. :^)
DEY TUUK ER JERBS!!
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Trekker4747 on April 15, 2007, 11:07:38 AM
Quote
I'm not so much disturbed by the possible slavery reference to the oompa loompas (hey, at least he keeps them well-fed and sheltered, and doesn't even reprimand them for spontaneously breaking into condescending, creepy song and dance in front of guests)

You know. I'm sure White Men said the same thing about negros back in then day.  "Hey, we're giving them food and shelter and we're not repermanding them unless they don't work. They should be HAPPY to be here."

Wonka enslaved them, pure and simple.

Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Compound on April 15, 2007, 02:56:10 PM
that depends if they randomly broke into song.  if yes then my answer would be no. 

Wuss. That'd be great!

"Oompa Loompa doompadee doo  We've got another audit for you."

or
"And now over to Oompa for the weather."

"Thanks Todd. Oompa Loompa doompadee doo, I've got another cold front for you."

or
"Oompa Loompa doompadee doo. We've got another latte for you."

or

"Oompa Loompa doompadee doo. We've got some suppresive artillery fire for you."
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: AmandaGal on April 15, 2007, 03:15:42 PM
See, I get the feeling from the movie that in reality, the Oompas really ran that place and just put up with Wonka like you would an annoying dog that humps your leg.  Like, "Well, fellas, I guess he did bring us over here.  Even if he is insane so I guess we can deal."  Look at the way they react to him and the expressions they make.   Sure they came running when he blew his little whistle but probably just to prevent him from whining and totally flipping out.  I'm almost sure they wouldn't do anything for him they didn't want to do.  I am completely sure they could kick his ass.  They were clearly smarter than Wonka and had much better organizational skills.  It's like they were humoring a mental patient or something, "Sure, we'll stir your chocolate.  We're your friends buddy! You're not nuts!"

Exactly what does Wonka do? Nothing.  Who ever saw him? Nobody.  The Oompas could throw him into a vat of boiling chocolate at any minute and nobody would be the wiser.  Why didn't they?  They were living the sweet life and so what if a senile/eccentric millionaire candy man thought he was running the place.  Doesn't sound like slavery to me. It sounds like they just got a sweet job with a moron for a boss and don't we all know what that is like.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Trekker4747 on April 15, 2007, 03:29:29 PM
Quote
Exactly what does Wonka do? Nothing.

Well. One could surmise he was a brilliant confectioner who formulated delicious candies like Scrumdidlyumptious Bars and Ever Lasting Gobstoppers, and rendered down human intestines and Roachmeal.

;)

Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: 6079SmithW on April 15, 2007, 03:32:47 PM
They think they've got a good union but they don't. They're basically slaves.

It is a bit disturbing, but I'm not sure Wonka is all that moral of a guy in the book. Dahl's world is more about phantasmagoria than morality from everyone but the main character, as tends to be the case with fairy tales.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: AmandaGal on April 15, 2007, 03:46:54 PM
Quote
Exactly what does Wonka do? Nothing.

Well. One could surmise he was a brilliant confectioner who formulated delicious candies like Scrumdidlyumptious Bars and Ever Lasting Gobstoppers, and rendered down human intestines and Roachmeal.

;)



But does he really? Or do the Oompas do all that and convince him that he is the one doing it?  Who would buy an "Oompa Loompa Scrumdidlyumptious Bar."  Willy Wonka, I can only assume, was once a great candymaker and has name recognition.  It wouldn't be hard to convince that crazy old man he invented the candy, put his name on it and rake in the money.  Wonka doesn't seem sane enough to invent anything.    He is not sane enough to run a factory or boss around a group of small, red, mean looking men.  The Oompas gotta be running things and he's deluded into thinking he is.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Trekker4747 on April 15, 2007, 03:53:14 PM
I dunno. Willy Wonka strikes me as the typical mad-scientist. He's insane and his outlit for insanity is confectionry. As opposed to, making a monster or a time-machine or something.   ;)

Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: 6079SmithW on April 15, 2007, 05:06:44 PM
I dunno. Willy Wonka strikes me as the typical mad-scientist. He's insane and his outlit for insanity is confectionry. As opposed to, making a monster or a time-machine or something.   ;)


The Great Glass Elevator is probably a time machine. God knows it can go pretty much anywhere else.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Hobbit on April 15, 2007, 07:31:57 PM
Quote
I'm not so much disturbed by the possible slavery reference to the oompa loompas (hey, at least he keeps them well-fed and sheltered, and doesn't even reprimand them for spontaneously breaking into condescending, creepy song and dance in front of guests)

You know. I'm sure White Men said the same thing about negros back in then day.  "Hey, we're giving them food and shelter and we're not repermanding them unless they don't work. They should be HAPPY to be here."

Wonka enslaved them, pure and simple.



I didn't say it didn't disturb me, just that it disturbed me less than protraying that deadbeat leech of a grandpa as a good guy.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: sarcasm_made_Easy on April 15, 2007, 07:39:37 PM
Quote
Oompa Loompa doompadee doo. We've got some suppresive artillery fire for you

quote of the year

 :clap:
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: AmandaGal on April 16, 2007, 09:40:07 AM
I dunno. Willy Wonka strikes me as the typical mad-scientist. He's insane and his outlit for insanity is confectionry. As opposed to, making a monster or a time-machine or something.   ;)

Which is why I still contend the Oompas are running the place.  Stay with me here.  I'll give him the nonsensical giant chocolate river and candy land.  I mean, whatever works for you (even if it makes no business sense at all) but do any of the inventions that WONKA touts as being HIS in the movie make any sense at all in a marketing respect?  A few of them, maybe (the gum, perhaps, maybe the golden geese but even with them, you'd wonder what the lifespan on a Golden Geese was and how much they ate as opposed to how much the eggs sold for.  Would it not be cheaper to produce the eggs some other way?).  Everlasting gobstoppers: did Wonka miss the day in his MBA training where they talked about repeat business?  The exploding candy: yeah, way to go.  Knock out the teeth of your customers so they can never eat again.   A giant, 200 lb candy bar made so it can appear on one person's television as a 2 ounce candy bar? How much are you going to charge for THAT?  It's cool, sure.  Marketable at a profitable level, doubtful. 

I guess he did have the competition that sold out Wonka bars everywhere so that made sense but then he gives the stupid factory away after shattering the roof (how much is that going to cost to fix) and possibly killing a bunch of kids (are they alive? do we know for sure?). 

It just seems like the Oompas are probably the ones keeping him sane and actually keeping the factory running at a profitable level.  Not that I'm really trying to argue ;)  It's just a movie and all [whistles innocently]
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: J-Proof on April 16, 2007, 09:55:57 AM
What I found disturbing about the entire Wonka world was just how saturated it was with inuendo and dirty jokes.....

Look up what a GobStopper & a Shnozzberry are.... Yeah.....
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Fuzzy Necromancer on April 16, 2007, 11:44:21 AM
I motion that the normal laws of supply and demand don't quite apply to Willy Wonka. He's got an effective monopoly. Throughout the story and the film, it's made clear that compared to the products of Wonka all other chocolate is but a pale chalky flavorless shadow. He has infinitely superior product quality and consumer loyalty, as well as universal brand-name recognition. He has money to blow.

The TV-chocolate I must defend. It doesn't just make it appear on one television, it makes it appear on any and all televisions that it's broadcast to. It only reappeared on one television because he had it on a closed-circuit loop while it was in the testing phase. Presumably, the first idea he had was to get free samples out to anybody with a television set, but it has further practical and financially sound applications. Shipping expenses are a thing of the past when you can manufacture a giant food unit and broadcast it to every store on the planet. No doubt uncle same would pay big bucks for such an item after Wonka got bored with it; what senator wouldn't relish a way to transport heavy artillery instantaneously while bringing thousands of jobs to his district for the construction of a 220ft high tank?

The exploding candy only knocks out teeth because it is still in an unrefined stage.

The whole-meal chewing gum, once you work out the expansion-problem, would be something to sell to nasa or the military as low-weight, low-volume food (again, skip the public sector and go to the cushy government contracts). MREs have nothing on a rich and filling meal that can be conveyed in a package the size of a gumstick.

The ever-lasting gobstoppers would wind up being replaced now and then do to the simple fact that you can only have the same thing in your mouth for so long before you either spit it out or swallow it.


Any financial losses not recouped by these methods can probably be made up for with the sale of his incredible youth-drug, as detailed in the sequel "The Great Glass Elevator".
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Fuzzy Necromancer on April 16, 2007, 11:47:26 AM
wow thats bizaarly terrifying.
I think that could be a response to most of the things that happen in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: sarcasm_made_Easy on April 16, 2007, 09:12:17 PM
i disagree with the MRE vs the gum stick.  there is no evidence to support it actually gives you the NUTRIENTS of an MRE, it merely gives you the flavor of a meal.  so in this case it wouldnt work for the military but it WOULD work as a weight loss prgram since it would make the brain think it HAS eaten. 
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Sharktopus on April 16, 2007, 11:07:51 PM
What I found disturbing about the entire Wonka world was just how saturated it was with inuendo and dirty jokes.....

Look up what a GobStopper & a Shnozzberry are.... Yeah.....

I think the adult meanings came use after the movie, though it doesn't make it any less weird...
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Pak-Man on April 17, 2007, 04:15:11 PM
Pretty sure they wouldn't sell these if the dirty meaning was intended:
(http://www.candyeveryday.com/Images/Candy/Amazon/Wonka/Gobstoppers-Everlasting-Net.jpg)
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: LadyKenobi on April 19, 2007, 09:05:30 PM
1)  As someone who has worked with jockeys, I wouldn't feel so creeped out by the O-L's if they'd crack a smile once in a while.  Shudder.

2) That's right folks!  No more tedious carrying of rats (or Wonka bars) across the room!
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Minnesota on April 20, 2007, 05:35:39 AM
well they are singing, thats a good sign right? ... The creepiest thing I saw the omppa's do was shrink that tv kid down, that omppa totally did that on purpose.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Pak-Man on April 20, 2007, 04:09:15 PM
I like Wonka's half-hearted attempts to stop the kids from mutilating themselves. The blase' "Wait! Stop!" or whatever he said. Wonka makes it clear. You break Wonka's contract, you're not coming out the same size/shape/color you were when you came in. :^)
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: sarcasm_made_Easy on April 20, 2007, 11:49:27 PM
Quote
. You break Wonka's contract, you're not coming out the same size/shape/color you were when you came in. :^)

yeah his factory is basically a big death maze with more whimsy
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: SuperMappy on April 21, 2007, 02:23:03 AM
I've often wondered if the Health Department makes routine inspections of the Wonka  factory. Like Mike and Neil said in the rifftrax, boats floating a chocolate, shoes dropped into candy for extra kick, lickable wall paper, it all sounds rather hazardous!
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Ranika on April 21, 2007, 02:49:55 PM
Maybe a number of inspectors have already been 'dealt with' by Wonka's whimsical death machines and they're afraid to send more. Wonka's factory is an eerie place of cheerful whimsy and suffering. Of course, he might just use it to terrify the inspectors so much they don't really notice much else. Can't punish him for having a place that's just scary and weird, which is what Wonka draws attention to (all the while, moronic fat children are falling into rivers of chocolate, little brats are getting stuck in televisions, etc.). Wonka is like a magician; misdirecting the inspector's attention. And those he can't misdirect, dead. When they come asking about the whereabouts of the inspector who has died, Wonka states he simply never arrived, keeping his evil empire going.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: AmazingThor on April 23, 2007, 05:43:07 AM
I'm waiting for the Oompas to unionize. Sic Semper Tyranus!
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Cosmic Muse on April 26, 2007, 11:39:33 PM
Maybe a number of inspectors have already been 'dealt with' by Wonka's whimsical death machines and they're afraid to send more. Wonka's factory is an eerie place of cheerful whimsy and suffering. Of course, he might just use it to terrify the inspectors so much they don't really notice much else. Can't punish him for having a place that's just scary and weird, which is what Wonka draws attention to (all the while, moronic fat children are falling into rivers of chocolate, little brats are getting stuck in televisions, etc.). Wonka is like a magician; misdirecting the inspector's attention. And those he can't misdirect, dead. When they come asking about the whereabouts of the inspector who has died, Wonka states he simply never arrived, keeping his evil empire going.

Sounds to me like Will Wonka and the "Pagans" from the Wicker Man remake converse on a regular basis mostly on the subject of getting rid of petty nuisances like health inspectors and law enforcement types.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Fuzzy Necromancer on April 27, 2007, 01:23:03 PM
The difference is that the wonka plan actually works, and doesn't require him to set them up with a false lead  and waste what feels like several weeks of screen time letting him wander aimlessly and steal an oompa loompah's bear costume.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Zooball on May 18, 2008, 12:37:52 PM
I'm wondering if the Ooompa Loompa's came up with the golden ticket thing to get a new boss?
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: RoninFox on May 18, 2008, 01:58:33 PM
well they are singing, thats a good sign right? ...

Yeah, who'd ever hear of a slave singing?   ;D  That's just silliness.  We all know slaves only express happiness by running away yelling "Yippie!"
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Zooball on May 26, 2008, 09:32:41 AM
Unlike many Hollywood types, I've decided to actually read the book.  ;D

The Ooompa Loompas in my version (Puffin Modern Classics 2004, Dahl/Blake) are fuzzy headed blond people.  What bothers me is Wonka offers them a "better life" in his factory and to get them in Wonka smuggles them in crates with holes!  Wonka is glad they all make it, but I'm not convinced he would be devastated if some died.  Smuggling people in this fashion can have tragic consequences as I had seen so many times while in Southern California.  I'm also sensing the chocolate for drugs substitution--all the chocolate you can want, for free, while I drive you into the ground with hard labor.

I'm also disturbed that Wonka experiments with them.  One floats away after drinking the Fizzy Lifting Drink, and the best Wonka can do is call him an ass as he floats away never to be seen again.  What about this Oompa Loompa's family?  An Ooompa Loompa village appears later in the book--don't they miss the one who floated away?

The full course meal gum is another point of concern--Wonka squeezes about 20 of them to get the blueberry juice out.  Does Wonka need 20 data points to be convinced the gum is dangerous?  21 if you count Violet.

Hair Toffee.  Another experiment meddling with the genes of these poor little people.

Now, I have to remember that Dahl was a British fighter pilot in World War 2 who was stationed in Africa until his face-shattering crash landing, then served in Washington DC for the RAF.  He is also a product of the pre-war Empire.  Life became very cheap during the war in some areas, and I wonder if this is reflecting in the book?  Is Dahl trying to take something extremely egregious from those times, ie. the concentration camps, and trying to put a whimsical spin on the tragedy in an attempt to soften the blow when children later learn about what really happened?

There is also the question that only those who toe-the-line of social expectations will be rewarded.  Charlie is afraid and disadvantaged, but these qualities get him though the tour as "good behavior".  Also, all the other kids have both parents for escort in the book, except for Charlie.  Fat German gets sucked away right away after stuffing his face with a forbidden out-of-bounds resource, competitive American (?) Violet ignores advice and needs to be squeezed, nouveau riche and spoiled Brit-brat Veruca gets chucked into the garbage with the possibility of being burned (see above paragraph), and American Mike Teavee is bent on violence only to be done in by his own favorite technology (post-war America and the Atom Bomb?).  Charlie has his Grandpa Joe with him which to me seems like a stretch to stay connected with the glory days of old (Empire?).   The eight other parents are just as much victims as their children and are also removed as quickly, and take the blame--social commentary here about child raising in different cultures, or even a changing culture at home?

The Indian Prince!  Obviously reference to the Empire.  However, portrayed as royalty from a colony that is too stupid to know what to do with a great gift.



Or, am I just off my rocker?

I think I now prefer the movies, and the Burton/Depp one slightly more.  Now that I think of that film, Burton did bring the parent issue even further forward with Dr. Wonka.  We won't get into the burning wax figures right now.....save that one for another day.

Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Fuzzy Necromancer on August 02, 2009, 10:41:58 PM
I find your analysis most thoughtful and well-researched.

Hair toffee at least seems a bit less drastic than the fizzy lifting drink experiments. I think the bit about making an attempt to portray concentration camps as whimsical is a bit of a stretch though. >.o
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Doctor Who? on August 03, 2009, 08:05:16 AM
I think you are all putting way more thought into this then the author did.  I think it's a kids story that was written in a hurry with kids logic.  I always thought of the Ooompa Loompas as Wonka's version of Santa's elves.  I don't see packing them in crates as having any message other then explaining to the kids how the Ooompa Loompas got to Wonka's factory.  It's a kids story and in kids stories people can take long trips in crates,hide on board spaceships,and fly in elevators and not get hurt. Also in most fairy tales and kids stories the heroes are poor and don't have both or even any parents.  As I said I think some people are just thinking way more about this then Dahl ever did.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Plastic Self-Cleaning Duck on August 03, 2009, 04:31:04 PM
well they are singing, thats a good sign right? ...

Yeah, who'd ever hear of a slave singing?   ;D

http://www.youtube.com/v/47ak4vjiNzw&hl=en&fs=1 
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Doctor Who? on August 03, 2009, 05:08:22 PM
I still find it funny that we are writing so much about such a short book and I never thought had that much thought put into it in the first place.
Title: Re: Distressing Messages =/
Post by: Plastic Self-Cleaning Duck on October 29, 2009, 02:30:39 PM
The first edition of "Charlie" was pretty clear that the Oompa-Loompahs were African pygmies, with skin explicitly described as "almost black".
And in the Burton version, the casting of Deep Roy brings us full circle?   :(

I still find it funny that we are writing so much about such a short book and I never thought had that much thought put into it in the first place.
People thought "Alice In Wonderland" and Dr. Seuss was all gibberish for kids, too.

Someone brought up on IMDB (I'm embarrassed to admit it never occurred to me but Mike and Neil Patrick Harris missed it too) - pretty disturbing that Charlie takes that coin out of the storm gutter/sewer grate, handles it, buys the candy and starts eating it without washing his hands!!!  And money is pretty germ-ridden to start with.....

Great lesson in hygiene for the kiddies.   :D