Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

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Ideas for Reports and Papers

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been called a modern fairy tale. What characteristics does it have in common with traditional fairy tales?

2. Throughout the book, Dahl coins words and employs puns. Why does he do this? Does this type of word play enhance the story?

3. In some ways, Dahl is following in the footsteps of Lewis Carroll (1832- 1898) and Edward Lear (1812-1888). Compare Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Carroll's Alice books or Lear's nonsense poetry. What similarities and differences do you see?

4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has a sensual quality to it. How does Dahl work the five senses into the story? Which of the senses does he refer to most frequently?

5. Critic Eleanor Cameron says this book is "tasteless." Read her essay "A Question of Taste" or some of her other attacks on the book. Does she convince you that the book is bad for children? Is it necessary that all children's books be in good taste?