Author Topic: Distressing Messages =/  (Read 20839 times)

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Offline Fuzzy Necromancer

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Distressing Messages =/
« 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.
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Offline Petey Wheatstraw

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Re: Distressing Messages =/
« Reply #1 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.
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Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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Re: Distressing Messages =/
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2007, 10:36:38 PM »
no where in the book does it imply they cant leave if they dont want to. 


Offline FrensaGeran

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Re: Distressing Messages =/
« Reply #3 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.
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Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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Re: Distressing Messages =/
« Reply #4 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. 


Offline Sharktopus

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Re: Distressing Messages =/
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2007, 11:52:56 PM »
Here's the real question: Would you hire an Oompa Loompa?


Offline Bob

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Re: Distressing Messages =/
« Reply #6 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.


Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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Re: Distressing Messages =/
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2007, 03:54:33 AM »
that depends if they randomly broke into song.  if yes then my answer would be no. 


Offline Ranika

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Re: Distressing Messages =/
« Reply #8 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.
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Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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Re: Distressing Messages =/
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2007, 04:38:46 AM »
Quote
...Or maybe Wonka was just an extortionist dickface.


exhibitionist maybe


Offline Scrivener

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Re: Distressing Messages =/
« Reply #10 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.
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Offline Bob

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Re: Distressing Messages =/
« Reply #11 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.


Offline Fuzzy Necromancer

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Re: Distressing Messages =/
« Reply #12 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.
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Offline BathTub

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Re: Distressing Messages =/
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2007, 09:05:06 AM »
Yeah it's one of those weird facts you learn.

From WonkaFacts

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.


 


Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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Re: Distressing Messages =/
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2007, 07:14:16 PM »
wow thats bizaarly terrifying.