Willy Wonka as a Christian allegory


#1

I am going by the 1971 film, here; the 2005 version is decent but portrays Wonka as a flawed, childish man. I have never read the book, so forgive me if this is supposedly more clear in there.

Willy Wonka represents God. He is a mysterious man who does miraculous things (like move chocolate bars into TV sets or make entire meals into sticks of gum), but has recluse himself into his factory because he no longer loves the world. But one day, he decides to call five children (“by name”, as we learn in the end) in order to come to the factory and live there with him. He also becomes upset at people who fall into temptation and break the factory’s rules, but he does nothing to stop them; it is their choice.

The factory represents Heaven. Incredible things happen there; it is like a paradise, especially the garden made out of candy.

Mr. Slugworth represents the devil. He is an agent of God that tests people’s faith to show it to be genuine. The Everlasting Gobstopper, which he offers fantastic wealth for (like Christ’s temptation in the desert, where Satan offered him all the world’s kingdoms), represents freedom. You can use it to glorify God, or you can use it for your own personal endeavors.

The Oompa Loompas represent the angels. They do Mr. Wonka’s work and are very concerned with the sins of the people who visit the factory.

The children and their parents come to the factory and are very impressed with its glory, but each are held back by their sins. Augustus represents gluttony, of course; Verouca is greed; Violet is pride (she wants to win at everything); I can’t pin anything on Mike, but perhaps sloth, as he is obsessed with TV. When they each commit their mortal sin (falling into the chocolate river; eating the blueberry gum; falling into the egg pit; getting into the TV-atron), Mr. Wonka doesn’t stop them. He allows them to do this. And because of it, they are denied the final prize that the Golden Tickets offered, which was salvation.

Charlie commits a sin, too (drinking the Fizzy-Lifting Drinks), but he is sorrowful for it. Wonka denies him the factory for it, whereby Grandpa Joe shouts “you’re a crook” and is mad that at Wonka for “building up his hopes and then smashing all his dreams to pieces”. To apologize to Mr. Wonka, Charlie returns the Gobstopper, whereby Wonka reveals his entire plan; happily shouting “you won, Charlie, you won!” and giving him the factory (i.e., salvation). Note that salvation is offered to them; the other children freely denied it, but Charlie accepted it.

Thoughts?


#2

Are you arguing that Rohld Dahl intentionally wrote the book as a Christian allegory, or are you proposing an interpretation of the story that you know the author didn’t intend?


#3

I’ve never read the book, I’m going by the film; which to me, clearly comes off as being intended as a Christian allegory.


#4

Willy Wonka is not a Christian allegory. Neither the books nor the films.


#5

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (and its derivative movies) is certainly a type of “morality play”, but is not intended as a Christian allegory.


#6

Willy Wonka cannot represent God because God would never go through a period where he “no longer loves the world.”


#7

Remember that in allegories, comparisons are never exact; since then, it would no longer a symbol but an actual representation. Wonka is a human being who represents God in the story.


#8

Roald Dahl wrote the film screenplay as well as the book, so there’s no difference there.

Considering his views on religion and the new-age themes found in some of his stories, I doubt that he was trying to add any hidden Christian parallels in his story. However, one blogger sees the movie as an exposition of “the seven deadly sins”: notes-from-offcenter.com/2008/06/24/roald-dahls-unique-take-on-good-v-evil/

This author sees religious allusions in other Roald Dahl stories: caveatscriptor.com/lyceum/eng324.critpaper.pdf


#9

What about in Noah’s time. God was sorry he created man." Genesis 6:6-7 "It repented him that he had made man on the earth. And being touched inwardly with sorrow of heart,He said: I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth, from man even to beasts, from the creeping thing even to the fowls of the air, for it repenteth me that I have made them."
The word repenteth means he regretted.
IF you are sorry you created something and want to destroy it,I’d say you no longer love it.
Of course we praise God for finding one man and his family worth saving.
Or we wouldn’t be here!


#10

I hate to be that guy that doesn’t even believe the author’s stated motives, but I’m looking at this thesis and I’m having trouble believing that it was not intended to be a Christian allegory.


#11

I like your idea and next time I watch the movie I’ll keep your allegory in mind.
It’s good to think on the Lord.


#12

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.