The very nature of Wonka's Golden Ticket contest is ironic; it was advertised as a contest designed to welcome children in to the factory, but ended up really being about weeding four of the children out. Mr. Wonka had to keep his real intentions hidden when holding the ticket contest, since the children and their parents would certainly have been skeptical about going in to tour the factory if they knew that much of the tour was designed to get rid of them.
Charlie's Finding the Ticket
Charlie finding the Golden Ticket is the ironic event that sets up for the rest of the story's happenings. It is extremely unexpected that Charlie, an impoverished boy, would find this precious ticket after only opening four candy bars, while some people would open hundreds per day and not find any. It is ironic that all this—finding the ticket, winning the factory—could happen to the most unexpected of people.
There is some irony surrounding Augustus Gloop's character. Mr. Wonka is the man who creates and sells the candy that Augustus consumes so regularly, and yet he himself clearly condemns Augustus's gluttonous practices. It is ironic that a chocolatier is the one to punish Augustus for his gluttony.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.