What does the following passage show in Roald Dahl's novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?: "You'll be giving that nasty cold of yours to about a million people all over the country!"

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Roald Dahl's young reader's novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the character Augustus Gloop symbolizes the vice of gluttony. He is so glutinous that he is extremely self-serving, thinking only of himself and his insatiable appetite.

Augustus's gluttony is first depicted in his enormous obesity, then later, in Scene 5, in lyrics sung by the Oompa-Loompas, who describe Augustus as being an idiot for gorging himself. They further show in the following lyrics that his gluttony results in selfishness:

However long this pig might live,
We're positive he'd never give
Even the smallest bit of fun
Or happiness to anyone. (Scene 5)

The passage in question is spoken by Augustus's mother just as he begins greedily drinking from the chocolate fountain. Previously, Willy Wonka had explained that the fountain is full of enough thousands of gallons of hot, melted chocolate to fill each bathtub and swimming pool in the whole country. The pipes are used to carry the river of melted chocolate to the different assembly rooms in the factory. Since the chocolate is used to make Willy Wonka's candy, it obviously must remain uncontaminated. However, without giving a thought to the chocolate's use, Augustus greedily starts gulping down chocolate, using his bare hands to scoop it up. Willy Wonka begs him to stop, telling him that the chocolate must be "untouched by human hands," but Augustus refuses to listen, thinking only of his own greedy, glutinous desires.

Mrs. Gloop further shows Augustus's greed and selfishness when she declares, "You'll be giving that nasty cold of yours to about a million people all over the country!" As we can see, Augustus is so indulgent in his own gluttony that he doesn't stop to think about the welfare of others, showing us just how selfish gluttony can make a person.

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