Willy Wonka Series: Veruca Salt

Veruca Salt is the second child to “find” a Golden Ticket. Unlike the other children, her father made his peanut factory workers unwrap crates of Wonka bars until they found one for her. Throughout the tour, Veruca constantly demanded completely irrational things, like an Oompa-Loompa, a candy boat, and the catalyst for her demise, a trained squirrel (or a golden goose in the 1971 film). When Mr. Wonka tells her that the animal is not for sale, she throws a fit, the squirrels retaliate, declare her a “bad nut”, and toss her down the garbage chute.

Was it Veruca’s fault that she became a brat? Or are the Oompa-Loompas right and the mother and the father to blame?

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Willy Wonka Series: Violet Beauregarde

My mom was a tiger mom. She demanded excellence and if any of my friends were better at a sport or skill than I was, she pushed me to do better. That meant hours dedicated to practicing piano, hours perfecting dance routines, and hours studying to get grades that she could be proud of. Not only did this add more stress on me as a kid, but it also placed tension on my friendships because it always became some sort of unnecessary competition.

For Violet Beauregarde, her story was never really about gum chewing. The spirit of competition and need to be the best or the first runs deep with her. The 2005 movie does a more obvious job of showing this caricature.

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Willy Wonka Series: Mike Teavee

The 1971 movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is probably one of my top fave movies of all time. I mean, a candy factory tour, singing Oompa-Loompas, and the occasional dark comedy comeuppance? Yes.

Over the years, the movies and the book by Roald Dahl are almost a cautionary tale about unchecked poor behavior in kids. To foil with innocent main character Charlie, we see four other children representing overconsumption, competition, spoiledness, and tv addiction and their consequent ejection from chocolate factory when they give into them. So in the spirit of Halloween and lots of candy, we’re taking a deep dive into these characters and how these negative traits can develop in real life. First up, Mike Teavee.

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