Author Archives: eyates

Poor Parenting

In “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl, there are four of the most poorly behaved children ever. The behavior of these children, Augustus Gloop, Violet Beauregarde, Mike Teavee, and Varuca Salt, is absolutely atrocious and for that they are punished throughout their tour of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. These children cannot be blamed for their lack of discipline for it is their parents who should receive the blame of their poor behavior.
Augustus Gloop is the first to find a golden ticket. From reading the book it is easy to determine that he is an overweight and greedy child. He is also the first of the children on the tour to be punished for their poor behavior. Augustus is unable to help himself once he lays eyes on Willy Wonka’s chocolate river. After being warned by both his mother and Mr. Wonka he still approaches the river and falls in. He is then sucked into a giant pipe that chocolate flows through to be manufactured. Once he is jammed in the pipe he receives a song from the oompa-loomas. Augustus’ mother was unable to control her son because of the way she spoils him. In an interview she brags about how “eating is his hobby” (Roald Dahl 22). By allowing him to eat whatever he wants she neglected to teach him the self-control he needed to resist the chocolate river.
Violet Beauregard is the third child to find a golden ticket, but is the second to receive her punishment for her poor behavior during the tour. Her greediness is shown when she takes a piece of experimental gum from Mr. Wonka. He warns her that there are unpleasant side effects, but like Augustus she has a lack of discipline and pays no attention. For her rude behavior and failure to listen to Mr. Wonka’s warning, she is punished. Violet fills with juice till she has the appearance of a large blueberry. She then receives an oompa-loompa song, and then they roll her to the juicer room where they will squeeze the juice out of her. This could have been avoided had her parents taught her proper manners and not allowed to her to become so rude.
Varuca Salt could be considered the most spoiled of the four to be ejected from the tour. She was the second to find a golden ticket, and all it took was her father buying candy bars in extremely large quantities to find it. Varuca receives her punishment when she demands to have a squirrel from the nut room in the factory. The squirrels then toss her down a trash shoot, and the oompa-loompas then sing another song. This situation could have been avoided if her parents didn’t respond to whenever Varuca said “I want”. Instead of teaching her that she cannot have everything she wants, they spoil her to the point where she was an ungrateful spoiled brat.
Mike Teavee is the finder of the fourth golden ticket and to be ejected from the tour. Mike uses a machine Mr. Wonka made to teleport chocolate from his factory into the televisions of his customers. By teleporting himself, Mike is shrunken down to the size of a candy bar. Mr. Wonka then suggests that the oompa-loompas use the machine used to stretch out certain candies. Once again this shows that Mike’s parents neglected to teach him self-control, and spoil him by allowing him to watch television all the time.

Granny Weatherwax vs. Nanny Ogg

Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg are seen as polar opposites.  Granny Weatherwax is a strict and confident witch, whereas Nanny Ogg is more lenient and motherly.  They are different in more ways than just personality.  They also differ when it comes to authority and how they gain their respect among others.

Granny Weatherwax is known for her strict personality and her extreme confidence in her own abilities.  She’s most certainly not the nicest witch of the Discworld series and doesn’t give people what they desire, but she does shine when it comes to giving people what they need.  Even though it may seem that she was envisioned by nature to be a typical wicked witch, she has a reputation for never wanting to intentionally harm people.  The way she acts is due to the fact that she wants respect and does not care how she obtains it, even if that means she must strike fear into others.

Unlike Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg does not need the use of fear to earn respect from others.  She is also more passive when it comes to proving her abilities are the best as opposed to Granny Weatherwax, who goes out of her way to prove she is the best and has the utmost confidence in her own abilities.  Nanny Ogg sees nothing wrong with being a good runner-up and would rather receive the sympathy for coming second than to go out of her way to win.  People have no problem approaching Nanny Ogg when they are in need of assistance because not only does she have the people’s respect, she is favored over Granny Weatherwax because of her extreme likability.

The Sequel to Adam and Eve

While reading “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis what came to mind was the sequel to the story of Adam and Eve.  In the story the four children Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are referred to as “the two sons of Adam and the two daughters of Eve” (Lewis 39).  The characters Aslan, the White Witch, and the four children are similar to those in the story of Adam and Eve.  Aslan the ruler of Narnia is similar to god, the White Witch represents the serpent that uses temptation to corrupt one of the children, and of course the children are similar to Adam and Eve, Edmund be the one that is tricked by the Witch, serpent.

Aslan symbolizes God because he’s the ruler and creator of the world of Narnia, as was God to the Garden of Eden.   He returns from to Narnia to lead his army in the battle to reclaim Narnia from the evil White Witch.  Aslan would do anything to protect his land and his followers.  An example of his likeness to God would be the use of his divine powers.  In order to save the life of one of his companions, Edmund, he sacrifices his own life, as did Jesus to save us from eternal sin.  The day after the killing of Aslan he rose from the dead.

The White Witch represents the serpent in multiple ways.  Throughout the story you witness how controlling and manipulative she truly is.  She uses temptation to miss guide one of the four children, Edmund, when she offers him Turkish Delight, which could be seen as a representation of the apple the serpent tricked Eve into eating in the story of Adam and Eve.  Once Edmund has consumed the enchanted Turkish Delight the White Witch then requests that he bring his other siblings to Narnia.  She fools him into luring them into Narnia so she can dispose of the two sons of Adam and the two daughters of Eve because the prophesy foretells they will rise to defeat her and reclaim Narnia.  Once Aslan has retrieved Edmund from the White Witch she mentions that as a trader Edmund must face the death penalty.  The White Witch is later defeated by Aslna in battle, this being an example of God triumphing over evil to protect his followers.

In ways Edmund is very similar to Eve.  He was unable to resist the temptation of the White Witch, the serpent, and her enchanted Turkish Delight, the apple.  Throughout the story Edmund goes through a character transformation from antagonist to protagonist.  He goes from sneaking around following the White Witches orders finally joining up with his siblings to fight alongside them in the battle that will determine who be the rulers of Narnia.

Selflessness Amongst the Fairy Tales

After my reading of both “The Happy Prince” and “The Little Mermaid”, it’s clear to me that the main moral of both these fairy tales was selflessness. In “The Happy Prince” a swallow who has just had his heart broken decides to spend the night on a statue of a young prince that was said to be “as beautiful as a weathercock” (Wilde 254). That night the swallow discovers that the happy prince statue is actually quite sad because of the sorrow he’s witnessed from watching over the poor population of the town. Throughout the statue of the happy prince asks the swallow to strip him of the treasure, his rubies, sapphires, and fine gold leafs, that give him his beautiful appearance. Whenever the swallow would remove either of these treasures, he would then swoop down and give these treasures to the less fortunate.
In the end of “The Happy Prince” the swallow has failed to migrate to Egypt with his friends before winter and is sure his death is soon to come. As the swallow’s dying wish he asks to kiss the happy prince on the hand, but the prince refuses for he wants a kiss on the lips for he has fallen in love with the swallow (Wilde 259-260). When the swallow died the prince’s leaden heart had snapped right in two (Wilde 260). Once the mayor notices that the statue is no longer what it once was he decides to melt it down to make a new statue of himself. The entire statue had melted with the acceptation of the of the prince’s broken lead heart. After this God said “bring me the most precious things in the city” (Wilde 260). The angels then brought him the prince’s heart and the dead bird and both the prince and the swallow lived forever more in God’s kingdom.
This story is an exceptional example of selflessness. The young prince gave away his material items to better the lives of those less fortunate without hesitation. As for the swallow he performed all these good deeds because of his love for the prince knowing well enough he would die due to the arrival of winter. This same moral, to be selfless, is included in the story of “The Little Mermaid”. This is the story of a curious and adventurous mermaid. Once she comes of age, fifteen, she is allowed to visit the wondrous world above the sea. Unlike her older sisters she longs to be a human and possess an immortal soul. As the little mermaid said “ I would give the whole three hundred years I have to live, to become for one day a human being and share in that heavenly world” (Anderson 224).
In the end the little mermaid must choose to save her own life by taking the prince’s or die and turn to sea foam. With a knife in her hand and the prince that ruined her dreams in sight she is still unable to murder the prince and instead take her own life showing true selflessness (Anderson 231). Like the swallow in “The Happy Prince” the little mermaid made the ultimate sacrifice for someone she loved. Once she died she became one of the air daughters who wander the earth for three hundred years performing good deeds to form their own immortal soul so they too one day could reside in heaven. Although they gave their lives they were still rewarded with a chance at eternal happiness in God’s kingdom (Anderson 232).