Charlie Bucket

Charlie Bucket

Charlie Bucket is the title character in the Roald Dahl novels "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator".

Background

Charlie Bucket is the poster child for goodness. He lives with his mother, who remains nameless, and his four grandparents: Grandma Georgina, Grandpa George, Grandma Josephine, and Grandpa Joe, who is also Charlie's best friend. In the 2005 version of the film, Charlie's father is also present, whereas in the 1971 version he was mentioned as being dead.

Charlie in the novel

In the original novel, Charlie is particularly quiet throughout the novel, only usually speaking to his Grandpa Joe or to Wonka, and is very concerned about the other children, both before and after they are removed from the factory. He is wise in a small way, albeit excitable and good-humored.

Charlie in the 1971 film

In the 1971 film adaptation, Charlie (Peter Ostrum) and Grandpa Joe steal some Fizzy Lifting drinks, and are nearly sucked into an exhaust fan as the gases in the drinks send them rising. As a final test of Charlie's character, Willy Wonka reprimands Charlie and Grandpa Joe alike for doing this, and denies Charlie his prize. An infuriated Grandpa Joe regards Wonka now as nothing but a charlatan and vows to get revenge on him by giving the Gobstopper to Arthur Slugworth. However, Charlie will not let his honesty and morality fall to the wayside, so he gives Wonka back the Everlasting Gobstopper that was meant to go to Slugworth. Having passed Wonka's test, Charlie is first reintroduced to Slugworth, who, it turns out, is actually an employee of Wonka's, named "Wilkinson", and then rewarded with ownership of the factory. Charlie in the 1971 movie also has a black-and-white TV set. This Charlie is more similar to the book version in appearance. Charlie appears to live in the same town as the Wonka factory in this version of the film. In this film, Augustus Gloop and Charlie are shown to have an indirect friendship, though he socializes with Veruca, Violet, and even Mike as well.

Charlie in the 2005 film

In the 2005 film adaptation, (Freddie Highmore) Charlie continuously asks Wonka questions about his youth, often sending him into flashbacks. Charlie loves his family very much, and refuses to give them up in exchange for Wonka's factory. In the end, Charlie helps Wonka reconcile with his father, and moves his family into the factory (to be exact, into the chocolate room). Charlie's family in this particular version of events seem to be English but residing in America, though the exact location is more ambiguous than the previous film. Also, Charlie in both the 2005 and the 1971 version has a television set.

Additionally, Charlie idolizes Wonka more than in the previous film. He has a drawing of the factory, saved the wrappers of his birthday candy, and also made a scale model of the factory out of sub-quality toothpaste caps his father found at work. Although, towards the end of the film after Charlie turns down Wonka's first offer of the factory, he loses respect for Wonka because the latter doesn't hold family in such high regard (he even goes as far as to insult his haircut to his face, which had been hidden behind a newspaper, when he became a shoe-shine boy). Charlie's opinion of him changes for the better, when Wonka realizes (with Charlie's help) that family is an important part of having a successful chocolate factory.

Charlie is mocked by Augustus and Violet, but he just shrugs off their comments. Even though Veruca is spoiled rotten and Mike likes violence, Mike tolerates him and Veruca is generally kind to him - they replace Augustus Gloop's role in this version as the kindest to him.


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