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Most every literate person has heard of one of Roald Dahl’s books. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, being one of the most well-known. Though others include James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, Fantastic Mr. Fox, George’s Marvelous Medicine, BFG, and many, many, more.
Several of these books have also been adapted into movies. But, despite their popularity I will not recommend these books to anyone, and here’s why.
Let us first analyze Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Willy Wonka is an eccentric Chocolatier, who invites five children into his famous factory. Inside the factory, four out of the five children get harmed.
Violet Buragard turns into a gigantic blue ball, Mike Tv gets shrunk into a tiny human being, Augustus Gloop gets stuck inside a giant pipe, and ends up in the fudge making machine, and Veruca Salt gets chased by angry squirrels into the a big garbage chute. If you read this paragraph from the beginning again, you might think of the book in a different, and less favorable perspective.
If you are still not convinced, then think about what the winner, Charlie’s Prize. Charlie after he’s won gets offered by Willy Wonka, to live and work in his chocolate factory, to eventually take it over. When Charlie asks about his family living with him, Willy Wonka makes it clear that he wanted just Charlie, and not his family.
Does this not seem creepy? A grown man want a young boy, that is not related to him, and does not really know him, to move in with him without his parents. To me this is disturbing.
The Witches is another of Roald Dahl’s popular books, in which the young boy after being turned into a mouse by a witch, decides to remain a mouse, because then he won’t live as long as he would as a human. So basically he would rather be a rodent than a human so that he won’t out live his beloved grandmother. Does that sound like a nice bedtime story for your kids? I don’t think so.
And it goes on, how about The Magic Finger, a family of duck hunters have their arms replaced with wings, and giant ducks have their wings replaced with human arms, take guns and overtake the family’s house.
Or how about George’s Marvelous Medicine, George preforms some chemical experiments with household products, which he tests on his grandmother, making her disappear. His mother eventually accepts the grandmother’s absence as a good thing.
At this point I feel like I’m just babbling on, but don’t you find these books quite horrible? And when we review what Dahl’s book are known for ; unexpected endings, unsentimental, macabre, often darkly comic mood, featuring villainous adult enemies of the child characters, I personally am no more convinced to read his books, than I was before.
Of course, it is of your own discretion if you choose to let your children read Roald Dahl’s Books. But I for one will never recommend them.