Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory original cover.jpg
Original cover
AuthorRoald Dahl
IllustratorJoseph Schindelman (first and revised US editions)
Faith Jaques (first UK edition)
Michael Foreman (1985 edition)
Quentin Blake (1995 edition)
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreChildren's fantasy novel
PublisherAlfred A. Knopf, Inc. (original)
Puffin Books (1995–2006)
Scholastic (current)
Publication date
17 January 1964 (US version)
23 November 1964 (UK version)
Followed byCharlie and the Great Glass Elevator 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a 1964 children's novel by British author Roald Dahl. The story features the adventures of young Charlie Bucket inside the chocolate factory of eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was first published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. in 1964 and in the United Kingdom by George Allen & Unwin, 11 months later. The book has been adapted into two major motion pictures: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in 1971, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 2005. The book's sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, was written by Roald Dahl in 1971 and published in 1972. Dahl had also planned to write a third book in the series but never finished it.[1]

The story was originally inspired by Roald Dahl's experience of chocolate companies during his schooldays. Cadbury would often send test packages to the schoolchildren in exchange for their opinions on the new products.[2] At that time (around the 1920s), Cadbury and Rowntree's were England's two largest chocolate makers and they each often tried to steal trade secrets by sending spies, posing as employees, into the other's factory. Because of this, both companies became highly protective of their chocolate-making processes. It was a combination of this secrecy and the elaborate, often gigantic, machines in the factory that inspired Dahl to write the story.[3]


11-year-old Charlie Bucket lives in poverty in a small house with his parents and four grandparents. One day, Grandpa Joe tells him about the legendary and eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka and all the wonderful candies he made until the other candymakers sent in spies to steal his secret recipes, which led him to close the factory to outsiders. The next day, the newspaper announces that Wonka is reopening the factory and has invited five children to come on a tour, after they find a Golden Ticket in a Wonka Bar. The first four golden tickets are found by the gluttonous Augustus Gloop, the spoiled and petulant Veruca Salt, the chewing gum-addicted Violet Beauregarde, and the television-obsessed Mike Teavee.

One day, Charlie sees a dollar bill buried in the snow. He buys a Wonka Bar and finds the fifth and final golden ticket. The ticket says he can bring one or two family members with him and Charlie's parents decide to allow Grandpa Joe to go with him.

Wonka takes the kids and their parents inside where they meet the Oompa-Loompas, a race of small people who help him operate the factory. The other kids are ejected from the tour in comical, mysterious and painful ways. During each elimination, the Oompa-Loompas sing a morality song about them. With only Charlie remaining in the end, Wonka congratulates him for "winning" the factory and, after explaining his true age and the reason behind his Golden Tickets, names Charlie as his successor. They ride the Great Glass Elevator to Charlie's house while the other four children go home. Afterwards, Wonka invites Charlie's family to come live with him in the factory.

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