Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

by Roald Dahl

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In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, what clues suggest Grandpa Joe is planning something?

Quick answer:

Several clues suggest that Grandpa Joe is up to something. First, he becomes excited and eager when he talks about Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory. Also, he has a sly grin on his face as he gives Charlie the dime to buy a candy bar.

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In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, Grandpa Joe is ninety-six years old, and he seems "delicate and weak." He doesn't speak much during the day, but when his grandson Charlie comes to sit with him in the evenings, he seems to come alive. As he talks to Charlie, Grandpa Joe becomes "as eager and excited as a young boy," especially when he is describing Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory and all the mysteries of that particular establishment. We readers already get the idea that there is more to Grandpa Joe than meets the eye.

When the Wonka factory advertises that it will open its doors to five lucky golden ticket finders, Grandpa Joe is thrilled. He retains his hope that maybe Charlie will find one of the tickets, even though Charlie only gets one candy bar every year. Yet Grandpa Joe also wisely tells Charlie not to worry about the ticket and to just enjoy his candy when the boy's bar does not contain a ticket.

One day, Charlie comes home from school to find Grandpa Joe wide awake while the other three grandparents are "all snoring." Grandpa Joe beckons Charlie over to the bed and gives him "a sly grin." He is definitely up to something. Grandpa Joe pulls an "ancient leather purse" out from under his pillow and takes out a dime. He tells Charlie that they "are going to have one more fling at finding that last ticket." Charlie goes to the store and buys a candy bar, but there is no golden ticket in it.

A while later, Charlie finds a dollar bill in the snow. He decides he will buy a candy bar and ends up buying two. Out of the second wrapper falls the final golden ticket! He rushes home to tell his family, and the effect of the news on Grandpa Joe is startling. He cheeks turn rosy. His eyes start to sparkle with excitement. Then suddenly, with a cheer, Grandpa Joe jumps right out of bed and starts to dance. He declares that he will take Charlie to the chocolate factory the very next day. Indeed, Grandpa Joe is not nearly as decrepit as he appears. It only takes an exciting discovery to bring back the spring in his step.

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