Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Summary and Analysis of Chapters 26-30


The remaining group walks into a dazzlingly white room, and Wonka gives them a pair of dark glasses to put on so they are not blinded. Charlie notices that the all-white room is completely bare except for an enormous camera at one end and a large television screen at the other. Working on these things are Oompa-Loompas dressed in what resembles space suits. Wonka says this is the testing room for his latest and greatest invention: Television Chocolate.

After a disclaimer saying that he does not actually like television, since children can never take it in small doses, Wonka explains how television works. You start photographing something, and then the photographs are split into a million tiny pieces that are then shot out into the sky by electricity. Then they hit the antenna on the roof of someone's house, and then flash down the wire to the television set where the pieces get put back together on the screen.

Mike says that that is not quite how television works, but Mr. Wonka pretends not to hear him. He goes on to say that if people could break up a photograph into tiny pieces and send them by television, then he could do the same thing with a bar of chocolate, putting the pieces back together at the other end ready to be eaten. Mike says it is impossible, but Wonka begins a demonstration.

Six Oompa-Loompas bring in a massive bar of chocolate; Wonka says it has to be big because when you send something by television it always comes out much smaller. When the Oompa-Loompas pull a large switch, the bar of chocolate disappears, and a few moments later appears smaller in the middle of the television screen. Wonka tells them to take it; Mike is skeptical, but Charlie reaches out and grabs it. To his surprise, the chocolate comes away in his fingers. Grandpa Joe exclaims that this will change the world.

Mike Teavee is getting ideas. He asks if other things besides chocolate can be sent by television, like people, for instance. Wonka hesitantly says it could likely be done, but might have some nasty results. That is all Mike needs to hear, and he shouts that he is going to be the first person ever to be sent by television. Before anyone can stop him, he runs over to stand at the camera and flips the switch. Then he disappears.

The group watches the television set nervously, hoping that Mike will appear. It takes a long time, and Wonka warns that part of him may have gotten left behind, which has happened to chocolate before. Suddenly the screen begins to flicker and a tiny Mike appears. He is all in one piece, but he speaks with a voice like a mouse and is only a few inches tall. Mike does not seem fazed, but his parents go ballistic. His father says he is throwing the television set right out the window as soon as they get home, which makes tiny Mike throw a tantrum.

Mr. Teavee puts tiny Mike in his pocket, and then Wonka has Oompa-Loompas escort the Teavees to the taffy puller to stretch Mike back out. The Oompa-Loompas begin to sing once more about the dangers of sitting in front of the television set all day, and how children used to read instead before television. It tells parents to give their children books instead, and later each child will thank them for it.

As Wonka begins to take them to the next room, Grandpa Joe reminds him that there is only Charlie left. Wonka gets extremely excited, and tells Charlie that that means he won. He says he had a hunch right from the beginning that Charlie would be the winner, and begins babbling about all they have to do. Both Charlie and Grandpa Joe have no idea what is going on, but they are very excited. Wonka takes them into the great glass elevator and presses a button labeled ‘Up’ and ‘Out’.

The elevator speeds upwards and bursts through the ceiling of the factory, then soars over the city. They see the other four children returning home from the factory; Augustus is skinny from being squeezed through the pipe, Violet's skin is still blue, Veruca and her parents are covered in garbage, and Mike is extremely tall and stretched out. The trucks are all lined up, too, to bring each child their lifetime supply of chocolate.

Wonka says how much he loves his chocolate factory, and asks if Charlie loves it, too. Charlie says it is the most wonderful place in the whole world, and in response, Wonka tells him he is giving him the entire factory as a gift as soon as he is old enough to run it. Grandpa Joe and Charlie are astounded, but Wonka explains that he is getting older and has no family to take over the factory when he is gone. He sent out the Golden Tickets so that he could find an heir.

Wonka directs the elevator to the Bucket house to pick up the rest of the family, since they will live in the factory from now on and help to run it until Charlie is old enough. The elevator crashes through the roof of the house, and Charlie rushes in to tell everyone what happened. The grandparents initially refuse to go, but Mr. Wonka, Grandpa Joe, and Charlie push their bed into the elevator along with Mr. and Mrs. Bucket. Charlie tells them they are going to the most wonderful place in the world. Grandma Josephine asks if there will be anything to eat there since the whole family is starving. Charlie laughs and tells them to wait and see.


As they enter the Television Chocolate room, Wonka admits that he does not like television because children cannot take it in small doses, and instead waste their lives away in front of it. Wonka said something similar in the Inventing Room about gum chewing before Violet's incident. Both of these cases foreshadow the events that come for both children; in this case, Wonka is making a deliberate jab at Mike's lifestyle, which foreshadows his elimination.

The four naughty children can be separated into two groups. Augustus and Veruca were alike in that their vices were two different forms of greed: Augustus was a greedy eater, and Veruca was spoiled and constantly wanted more material things than she already had. Violet and Mike, on the other hand, are alike in that their principal vices are horrendous habits that their parents do nothing to stop: Violet's is gum chewing, and Mike's is watching television.

But Mike is similar to Violet in another way, as well. Just like Violet, Mike relishes the idea of being the first at something. Despite all the risks and Mr. Wonka's urging him not to do so, Mike is too taken with the idea of being the first person ever to be sent by television to stop. As a result he suffers the consequences and is permanently changed, just like Violet was.

Even after Mike is made small, he does not regret what he did. His parents appear to—his dad realizes what Mike's obsession with television has done to him and decides to throw their television out the window—but he himself does not. Though he is only a few inches tall, the only thing he can think of is watching more television. He is not upset that he will not be able to go to school or hang out with friends, as long as he can continue to languish in front of the television. This shows that Mike is too far-gone to truly learn the lesson that Wonka wants to teach him.

The Oompa-Loompas' final song states that television ruins children, and provides a much better alternative: reading. This wisely appeals to the book’s audience, since his readers who are primarily children have decided to pick up and read this book rather than watch television. This song also blames parents for allowing their children to sit in front of the TV for hours on end the way Mike does, and states that they should take an active role in eliminating this behavior. This confirms the idea that has been present throughout this book: parents are largely responsible for their children's behavior, and corrupted or negligent parents can have disastrous results.

Though Wonka acts surprised that Charlie is the last one standing and appears to choose him only because he is the final child left, it is clear that Wonka had chosen Charlie as the winner from the very beginning. He always treated Charlie very differently than he treated the other children, and many of his stops during the factory tour were designed to tempt the others while there was never any trap set for Charlie. Charlie continuously proved his worth throughout the day, confirming Wonka's choice.

Though up until this point Wonka has been portrayed as the all-knowing god of his factory, by giving the factory to Charlie he recognizes his own mortality. Because his body cannot live on forever, he wants to ensure that his chocolate factory and his legacy does; and the only way to do that is to find an heir for his chocolate empire.

The other four children all leave the factory with lasting marks of their naughtiness that will hopefully serve to teach themselves, their parents, and others around them a lesson as time goes on. They have not been permanently harmed—just changed, in order to illustrate the destructiveness of their behavior. As promised, they will still receive their lifetime supplies of chocolate and candy, but this is in no way rewarding their unacceptable lifestyles.

As for Charlie and his family, they receive the ultimate reward for their kindness, humility, and perseverance in the face of poverty and hardship. Firstly, they are given food, which they have craved for so long. More importantly, though, they are given a certain future. Since Mr. Bucket lost his job at the factory, the entire Bucket family has lived in fear of what might happen to them if things do not change soon. Now, they are given the certainty and security of a place to work, a place where their son—who they have worked so very hard to raise the right way—can truly shine.