In this story, the five Golden Tickets are a powerful symbol of hope. This is particularly true for Charlie, whose life would be markedly better if he found one. Despite the odds against him, the existence of a Golden Ticket, along with the fact that he has just as much chance as anyone else of finding one, gives him hope that perhaps he will get lucky and things will get better.
Wonka's factory is a symbol of the impossible coming to life. All of Wonka's inventions are out of this world; they completely defy the laws of nature, but prove that anything is possible as long as you can think it up. For everyone who knows about Wonka's creations, the factory serves as a powerful reminder that nothing is impossible.
The Great Glass Elevator symbolizes mobility and the future. It can take the rider anywhere, even sideways, even out into the open air. This mobility is important for Charlie, because with the ownership of the factory, he has moved from the very bottom of society—a poor, starving family—to the very top. The elevator will take Charlie and his family to their much brighter future.
Vice is a recurring motif, or dominant idea, in this story. The various vices of the four other Golden Ticket finders are easy to pinpoint, and they characterize the entire factory tour as the children are punished for them one by one. These vices are partly representative of the Seven Deadly Sins; we see traces of gluttony, greed, pride, anger, and envy in each of these naughty children.
The Oompa-Loompas and their songs symbolize the conscience or the voice of reason as the group moves through the factory and the children are punished one by one. The Oompa-Loompas exist to vocalize a very important lesson after each child's elimination, for both readers and the remaining characters.
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.