Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Summary and Analysis of Chapters 22-25


Wonka announces that two naughty children are now gone, leaving three good children left. He hurries them from the Inventing Room before they can lose anyone else. Charlie expresses concern for Violet, asking if she will ever be all right again. Wonka says that she will be juiced in no time, but she will always be that purple color, a punishment for chewing disgusting gum all day long.

Wonka takes them down a series of corridors, and once again Grandpa Joe makes sure Charlie is holding on to his hand so he will not get lost. They pass many doors with different things written on them, emanating delicious smells. Some of these rooms contain eatable marshmallow pillows, lick-able wallpaper for nurseries, hot ice cream for cold days, cows that give chocolate milk, and fizzy lifting drinks that fill you with gas and lift you off the ground.

Finally, they stop at a door labeled "Square Candies that Look Round" to take a peek. They look through a window in the door to see candies that look like square sugar lumps with little pink faces painted on the side. Oompa-Loompas paint more faces on the candies as they watch. The group is confused because the square candies look perfectly square, not round at all. After everyone begins to get agitated, Wonka opens the door, and at the sound of the door opening all of the little square candies look round to see who was coming in. The tiny faces actually move to look. Grandpa Joe exclaims that Wonka is right.

Wonka next takes them to the Nut Room. In this room, one hundred squirrels sit on stools around a large table containing mounds of walnuts. Wonka explains that the squirrels are specially trained for getting the nuts out of walnuts. He says he uses squirrels rather than Oompa-Loompas because only squirrels can get the nuts out of the shells in one piece every time. They first tap the nut with their knuckles to make sure it is not a bad one—if it is, they just throw it down the garbage chute in the middle of the room.

Predictably, Veruca decides that she wants a squirrel and begins screaming for her mother to get her one. Mr. Salt offers to buy one of the squirrels, but Wonka says they are not for sale. Veruca is not satisfied with this answer, so she decides to get one for herself and rushes through the door into the Nut Room. The squirrels immediately turn to look at her. She reaches out to grab the one closest to her, but in a split second all the squirrels leap out and land on her, then pin her to the ground.

The leader of the pack of squirrels begins to tap her on the head. Mrs. Salt screams, demanding to know what they are doing to her—Wonka says they are testing her to see if she is a bad nut. When they begin pulling her towards the garbage chute, Wonka announces that she is a bad nut after all, and says her head must have sounded quite hollow.

Wonka tells them that the chute takes all the garbage out of the factory and to the incinerator. Mrs. Salt begins to scream again, not reassured by Wonka's suggestion that perhaps they have chosen not to light it today. He also suggests that perhaps she is stuck in the chute, but when the Salts go down to check and call her name, there is nothing in response. They bend forward to peer down the chute when suddenly the squirrels push them down as well.

Characteristically, Charlie is concerned for their fate. Wonka says they only light the incinerator every other day, so they might get lucky. The Oompa-Loompas begin their song, singing bout how Veruca will meet some very different friends down the chute (a fish head, stale bread, and a rotten steak being a few examples). They end the song placing a good portion of the blame for her spoiled nature on her parents, since "A girl can't spoil herself, you know" (p. 140).

After leaving the Nut Room, Wonka exclaims that the children are all disappearing so fast. Mike begins to complain about being tired and wanting to watch television. Wonka says they had better take the elevator if he is tired. The elevator has rows and rows of buttons on all the walls and the ceilings, and each button takes you to a different room. Wonka says proudly that this elevator can move side to side as well as up and down, to anywhere in the factory.

Charlie reads some of the buttons, but in the end it is Mike who makes the choice, asking for a Television Room. They head to a room labeled "Television Chocolate," and everyone is taken aback when the elevator begins to move quickly sideways. Charlie and Grandpa Joe are excited, but the Teavees are less than thrilled. As the elevator zooms along, they glimpse different parts of the factory through its glass walls including a village of Oompa-Loompas. At last they reach their destination, and Wonka warns that there are very dangerous things in the next room that are not to be tampered with.


Wonka's line at the beginning of Chapter 22—"Two naughty little children gone. Three good little children left" (p. 123)—is ironic, since two of the three children left are not very good at all. This is also yet another hint that Wonka has been purposefully weeding out the children through deliberate tests, and is looking to have only one good child remaining. By now, there is no doubt that the children will disappear one by one until there is only one left standing.

Charlie's goodness of character is further proven by his constant concern for the fate of the other children, even though he has no reason to care about them. None of the children have been particularly kind to Charlie, and yet he still nervously asks Mr. Wonka if they will be okay after every incident. This proves that Charlie cares for all people, not only those he is close with. Charlie is good right down to his core, and this stands out particularly when he is in the company of the other four naughty children.

Veruca being deemed a "bad nut" further confirms what Wonka is trying to do here. A "bad nut" is a strong metaphor for a bad child like Veruca and the other children who have been eliminated. The bad children—or "bad nuts"—must be disposed of, just like the walnuts, in order to teach readers and the other children an important lesson. The squirrels were able to easily detect that Veruca is no good; however, it is a lot harder for humans to do so.

The song that the Oompa-Loompas sing after Veruca's mishap places blame for her behavior more heavily on the shoulders of her parents than either song for Violet or Augustus. The end of the song directly states that a girl cannot spoil herself, and therefore her parents are primarily at fault for giving in to her ridiculous demands. This blame is even more apparent, since Veruca's parents are the only ones who actually receive punishment as well, rather than just being escorted out by Oompa-Loompas. The Oompa-Loompas in the song say they are glad to see the parents go down the chute, too, because of how they have fueled her naughtiness.

The elevator scene serves two purposes. The first is to illustrate once more how Willy Wonka is able to do the impossible, creating an elevator that can move side to side as well as up and down. The second purpose is to continue highlighting the distinction between Charlie and Grandpa Joe and the rest of the group. The Teavees are less than thrilled with the elevator, with Mrs. Teavee claiming it makes her feel sick and Mike barraging Wonka with constant skepticism. Charlie and Grandpa Joe, however, revel in the impossibility of such an elevator and truly enjoy the ride. Wonka's factory is truly all about pleasure and enjoyment, and they are the only ones who really get what they are meant to out of it.

In addition, Charlie and Grandpa Joe are the only ones who constantly trust Mr. Wonka, even though he sometimes seems a little crazy and the things he has shown them seem impossible. They never falter in this trust that he will deliver on his promises, while the other children and parents are constantly doubting him. This is another important difference between them and the others.