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Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory As Judeo Christian Allegory

1635 words - 7 pages

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as Judeo-Christian Allegory

 

 

In the classic children's film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which is based on the novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the author and writer of the screenplay, Roald Dahl presents the viewer with a strikingly vivid metaphor that compares fundamental Judeo-Christian beliefs with, that's right, candy. The basic figures in the religion are given representational roles in the film that do not hide, but instead sugar coat their meaning. Even the basic concepts of the religion are cleverly placed in the film so that their symbolism is both recognizable and utilitarian. Overall, the film metaphorically presents the dichotomy of Christianity within the candy context.

 

The work centers on the world's love for the candy made by Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka, an eccentric, who for as long as anyone can remember, has been holed up in his factory to avoid industrial espionage, especially by the infamous Slugworth. Then one day Wonka announces that he is to hold a contest with five winners who will be allowed into his factory for a tour and then given a lifetime supply of his chocolate, a prize which is far more desirable to the characters than any other. This is the point in the film at which, "the plot kicks in," according to Chris Hicks of Deseret News. The winners are to be decided by a game of sorts. Five Golden Tickets are hidden in Wonka Bars and those who find them are the winners. As the excitement grows, the number of available Wonka Bars dwindles. Wonka madness ensues as the narrating newscasters in the film keep the viewer up to pace with the action through constant "this just in" style reporting.

 

The first four people to find tickets are: Michael Bollner's Augustus Gloop, a rather, um, large child from Germany with an equally large appetite; Julie Dawn Cole's Veruca Salt, the spoiled daughter of a wealthy peanut tycoon who basically wants everything she sees to be her own; Denise Nickerson's Violet Beauregarde, the daughter of a car salesman who only stops chewing her gum long enough for a jumble of words to spew from her mouth; Paris Themmen's Mike Teevee, also a child, who, as his name implies, never stops watching his television. The fifth golden ticket is eventually found by young Charlie Bucket, played by Peter Ostrum. Charlie is a pure hearted poor child who survives on cabbage water in a small house with his mother and four grandparents, including Grandpa Joe played by Jack Albertson.

 

The viewer first sees Wonka forty-five minutes into the film as he greets the contest winners at the gates of his factory. The winners are allowed to bring with them one member of their own family, and Charlie has brought his Grandpa. The group then enters the factory and begins the tour. On the way however, a certain disaster befalls each of the contest winners: Augustus falls into a chocolate...

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