Friday, May 30, 2014


This morning I woke up with images in my head from the symbolic book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The story centers around Willy Wonka, a chocolate factory inventor who hid five Golden Tickets inside the chocolate Wonka Bars. The finders of these special tickets were given a full tour of his factory for the day, and a chance to inherit Wonka's factory plus a lifetime's supply of chocolate.  

The first to win a ticket was an exceedingly overweight and greedy child who loves to eat chocolate. He ate so many Wonka bars a day that he found a ticket with ease, after almost swallowing it. Symbolically this boy represents the sin Gluttony — always eating far too much, and ultimately 'losing' Wonka's competition in the factory by falling into the chocolate river whilst trying to drink it.

The next to find the golden ticket was a girl from a wealthy family who demanded a golden ticket from her father, who bought thousands of boxes of bars so his daughter could have what she wanted. She represents Greed, always wanting things on her timetable. She ultimately 'loses' in the factory by falling down a trash chute after trying to capture one of Wonka's special squirrels, even after being told she can't have one.

Another golden ticket winner was a competitive girl who has an obsession with chewing gum competitively. She represents Pride. She belittles Charlie and calls him a loser, and boasts about all of her achievements. She arrogantly tries Wonka's 3-course dinner chewing gum and inflates into a giant blueberry. Her pride and desire to 'win' cost her place in the factory.

The fourth winner was a boy obsessed with watching television, and doesn't even like chocolate. He systematically worked out where the fourth golden ticket would be, allowing him to only buy one Wonka bar. He represents Sloth, but also represents Wrath, as he is an angry child who loves violence.

I heard that there were originally seven children to win the golden tickets, but this was later shortened to five. (Perhaps the "other" golden ticket winners had vices like Impatience, Haste, Zeal, and Envy.) 

Charlie is the last one who wins a golden ticket. He is desperately poor. He passes Wonka's loyalty test after almost failing, and eventually wins the competition and the factory. With his grandfather, Charlie enters into a multi-dimensional glass elevator which flies out of the factory. As they soar over the city, Willy Wonka tells Charlie that his prize is not just the chocolate but the factory itself; the Golden Ticket search was created to help Wonka find an honest child worthy to be his heir. Charlie and his family will live in the factory and take over its operation when Wonka retires.

I share this well known story since I think each of us have vices that keep us from inheriting all that the Father has. We tend to have too much zeal, and not enough patience... too much pride, and not enough humility, too much sloth and not enough effort, too much greed and not enough selflessness... too much attraction to the sensationalism.. and not enough stability.