A pleasant and happy story can be sad and miserable to some. The case in point is Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which has been loved by readers all across the world since its publication in 1964.
Charlie, who is so poor that he can get to taste a bit of chocolate only once a year, finds a golden ticket in a chocolate bar that allows him to visit a chocolate factory along with four other kids. The Chocolate Room in the factory is literally full of chocolate. Everything in the room, including trees, bushes, valleys, and waterfalls are made of chocolate. They have everything from Television Chocolate that is sent through TV to sweets that never get any smaller. Chocolate factory chief Willy Wonka decides to hand over the factory to Charlie, a good boy who lives in a shack on the outskirts of town. This is a fun chocolate story written by a writer, who really loved chocolate.
But the story is not so fun if you look closely into how the chocolates are made. Wonka fires his workers and closes the factory after other candy makers sent spies to steal his recipes. Nevertheless, the factory runs without any problems because Wonka secretly imported the Oompa Loompas to work at his factory. They are dwarfs. They are like the Lilliputians in Gulliver’s Travels and African Pygmies. They left their home for the factory after being told that they can eat all the cacao beans they want.
The Oompa Loompas exist for chocolates. Their life is no different from squirrels that are trained to crack nuts at the factory. They not only make chocolates but also become subject to experiments for a new product. In the words of Martin Buber, the Oompa Loompas are “it.” They are sort of human object that are used when needed and discarded when not needed. Although the writer did not have such intention, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is a sad and depressing story from their perspective. This is why we need to understand the hidden message about a sweet story and reflect on it.