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 Post subject: CATCF Question #8--the Spoiled Brat and the Know-It-All
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 6:27 am 
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CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY Question #8—The Spoiled Brat and the Know-It-All

The last two children dispatched by Willy Wonka are Veruca Salt, the privileged princess whose doting and rather dotty father puts his entire factory to work to locate the Golden Ticket Veruca demands, and Mike Teevee, the video game wizard who “beats the system” and calculates the correct Wonka bar to buy. Both Veruca and Mike show no respect for the adults in their lives. Veruca treats her daddy as a walking credit card, while Mike exhibits withering contempt for every adult who crosses his path. “I don’t understand what he says half the time,” admits Mike’s bewildered and overmatched father.

Here are some questions to ponder about Miss Salt and Master Teevee and their parents:

**Veruca’s demands are outrageous and never-ending. Why does her father give in to them? How did someone so young get such a sense of entitlement?

**Mr. Salt is the only parent who is punished along with his or her child; he, too, is pushed down the garbage chute by the squirrels. Do you think Mr. Salt deserves this? Why or why not? Does the experience of the garbage chute seem to teach him anything?

**Mike Teevee implies that Willy Wonka doesn’t understand what he’s invented with his machine to transport candy through the TV—that Wonka is only concentrating on candy and missing the bigger picture. During the tour, Mike consistently raises questions that Wonka cannot answer; rather than try, Wonka calls Mike a “mumbler” and pretends he can’t hear what Mike is saying. Is Mike too clever for his own good? Is there any way Mike’s father could have helped his son?

**All four of the children bring about their own misfortunes by diving after or grabbing things they have been told not to touch. In your opinion, what makes these children “bad nuts”—their acquisitiveness or their disobedience?

As always, you can respond to any or all of the questions. Thanks for joining our discussion!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:57 pm 
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Veruca Salt was the most annoying child to me and I just loved Willy when he couldn't quite find the correct key to open the gate to the squirrels. Mike Teevee was a smart child but not likable. He did stump Willy who at one point, could only think to say he is short.
In your opinion, what makes these children “bad nuts”—their acquisitiveness or their disobedience? Both.
Veruca wanted to acquire everything but was insisting and disobedient in getting her father to obtain them for her. Mike Teevee was disobedient in forcing things to his own way but still wanted to acquire the use of Willy's technology. All four of the spoiled children wanted to win the prize Willy offered even though they did not know it was the factory.



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:22 pm 
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gemini wrote:
Veruca Salt was the most annoying child to me and I just loved Willy when he couldn't quite find the correct key to open the gate to the squirrels.


She is certainly annoying. But when you look at how spoiled she was, she didn't have much chance to turn out any other way . . . . You can picture her growing up into a Paris Hilton, rich and chasing excitement and without purpose, having no clue that she's supposed to do something with her life and not just walk around in designer clothes.

One of my favorite moments in the movie is when she and her dad are walking out of the factory. They are both filthy, and when she starts listing off things she wants, her exasperated father grunts, "All you're getting when we get home is a bath!" You sense it's the first time he's ever said no.


gemini wrote:
In your opinion, what makes these children “bad nuts”—their acquisitiveness or their disobedience? Both.
Veruca wanted to acquire everything but was insisting and disobedient in getting her father to obtain them for her. Mike Teevee was disobedient in forcing things to his own way but still wanted to acquire the use of Willy's technology. All four of the spoiled children wanted to win the prize Willy offered even though they did not know it was the factory.


Good point--they all knew they wanted "it" without knowing what "it" was. Then you have Wonka looking at Charlie at the beginning and sensing the lack of that acquisitive instinct: "Why you--you're just happy to be here, aren't you?" (Or something like that--it might be "lucky to be here.") Charlie doesn't expect the prize; just seeing the factory with his grandpa up and about is thrilling. Charlie is grateful for what he has already received. He has the secret of joy.

Thanks for getting us started with this one, gemini! Always a pleasure to hear your ideas.

:wonka: :heart2:

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 7:00 pm 
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Veruca is annoying little brat, but in a way I feel sorry for her, because she has gotten all she wants all her life. But what most people know is that no one can buy happiness, even though many doesn’t realise it until the end. So I would say the Veruca is one of them. It was just good for her being invited to this factory and not get the best prize. And her father changed as well, after seeing that spoiling and not taking no for an answer, lives to nothing only shame and bad things.

Mike Teavee isn’t a point teaching anything or talk to, he is all by himself and does seem like a guy who don’t need school. But I don’t think it is very healthy for a boy in that age. His parents should have been a lot stricter and got him more social.

I feel sorry for both Mike and Veruca . The way the parents has raised there children is a sad method, you don’t get anything positive or nice out of it, only bad and evil things. I would say the way Mike and Veruca is acting comes from their parents. Mike’s can’t control their son, they should have gotten some help, Veruca’s shouldn’t have shown her that they have a lot of money, and that she had to earn what she got, not just saying I want!



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:56 pm 
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**Veruca’s demands are outrageous and never-ending. Why does her father give in to them? How did someone so young get such a sense of entitlement?

I absolutely love Verusa Salt!! I loved her in the Gene Wilder version and I love her even more in this version. She is so horrible she's actually comical! And what an amazing actress!! You just want to reach through the screen and slap her!

As to the question: How did someone so young get such a sense of entitlement? Are you kidding?! She is the epitome of a lot of children today. In fact, the sad thing is this version of the film is more relevant today because we see children behave like each one of these kids every day.


**Mr. Salt is the only parent who is punished along with his or her child; he, too, is pushed down the garbage chute by the squirrels. Does the experience of the garbage chute seem to teach him anything?

Are you sure he's the only parent who's punished? Clearly Violet's mother will likely suffer more from the experience than Violet herself. I mean how embarrassing to have a blue child!!

Based on the reactions of the children and their parents when they leave the factory, I think Mr. Salt may be the only person who has truly learned anything.

**During the tour, Mike consistently raises questions that Wonka cannot answer; rather than try, Wonka calls Mike a “mumbler” and pretends he can’t hear what Mike is saying. Is Mike too clever for his own good? Is there any way Mike’s father could have helped his son?

I think Willy Wonka can answer all of Mike's questions but chooses not to because the child is too clever for his own good. Answering the questions only encourages the boy. Mike is very disrespectful of grown-ups and does not deserve to be dignified with an answer.

**All four of the children bring about their own misfortunes by diving after or grabbing things they have been told not to touch. In your opinion, what makes these children “bad nuts”—their acquisitiveness or their disobedience?

Definitely their disobedience. This goes back to the idea that Willy already knew the disposition of these children before they ever stepped foot in his factory. He would have indulged and enjoyed a purely inquistive child.



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:47 pm 
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I agree that Veruca is a prototype of the average preteen of today. Sad but true! Only now there are two parents working to indulge their child's every whim, believing that giving their children everything they ask for will make up for other things the family lacks. (I loved the look on Mrs. Salt's face, with martini in hand, when the media came to the house...hilarious!) :rotflmao:
Mike Teevee might be another sort of prototype ~ the Baby Einstein kind! The kid who's parents allow him to believe he's the smartest, best, most advanced thing to come out of their very ordinary gene pool. Kids who think they're better than their parents, and who's parents agree with that assessment, are pretty incorrigible. But then, Willy's no slouch when it comes to being incorrigible, so it was funny to see the two of them go at it!



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:37 am 
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Iceflower wrote:
Veruca is annoying little brat, but in a way I feel sorry for her, because she has gotten all she wants all her life. But what most people know is that no one can buy happiness, even though many doesn’t realise it until the end. So I would say the Veruca is one of them. It was just good for her being invited to this factory and not get the best prize.


You do have the sense that what happened to Veruca and her father at the factory will be "good for her," don't you? Their relationship seems to have taken a step forward, and at the end Mr. Salt is being a real father and not a nervous Santa Claus. He's not afraid to say No to her anymore, if that's going to be what's best for her.

Thanks for sharing your ideas!

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 7:32 am 
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ptp, isn't this question largely one of those nature/nurture debates? Were these kids bad nuts from birth, unavoidably and genetically so, or were they made bad nuts by their upbringing by doting or ineffectual parents?

Those who feel the former is the case must live in a bleak world where any sort of moral progress in unlikely. Most people involved in education would hope that the answer is the latter.



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:50 am 
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**Mr. Salt is the only parent who is punished along with his or her child; he, too, is pushed down the garbage chute by the squirrels. Do you think Mr. Salt deserves this? Why or why not? Does the experience of the garbage chute seem to teach him anything? **


Great questions! :cool:

I would have to say that, even though all five of the children who went in to that chocolate factory ended up with their own "reality check" by the end, along with Willie himself, I really don`t think that any lesson was more eagerly "taught" than when Veruca and Mr. Salt were sent down the garbage chute by the squirrels.

The way Willie fumbles with his impossible key-ring, but strangely has no trouble finding the right key to open the door once it is too late...The dark, knowing look that creeps on to his face as Mr. Salt goes after his daughter, as if he is really enjoying what he is seeing unfold a little too much...It`s almost too eerie to think about! :yikes: :wonka:


It`s almost as if, or IS as if, he had wanted this horrible thing to happen all along to this spoiled little girl who had been handed everything to her on a silver platter all of her life, and getting the Father who was a part of making her that way was just a bonus of the deal. Spoil the child, and you end up becoming nothing more than a follower...

A lot of times, parents aren`t even HALF as aware of their parenting skills as the people around them, so i`m not sure if Mr. Salt knew how much his doting on his daughter affected her, or how to simply say "no" to her, which would have saved him so much trouble in the long run, but being sent down the garbage chute was definitely a wake-up call for him. Bending to a child`s every whim is something that is all to easy to fall in to, but in the long run, it is never the answer, and despite the fact that Veruca herself seemed basically unchanged by her smelly demise at the factory, it really opened her Father`s eyes. He was tired, upset, and absolutely filthy after this unorthodox (if not downright mean!) lesson, but in a major way, he had finally learned the power of "no".



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:46 am 
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historicalpassion1 wrote:
**Veruca’s demands are outrageous and never-ending. Why does her father give in to them? How did someone so young get such a sense of entitlement?

How did someone so young get such a sense of entitlement? Are you kidding?! She is the epitome of a lot of children today. In fact, the sad thing is this version of the film is more relevant today because we see children behave like each one of these kids every day.


Sad but true--you're probably right. My most cringe-worthy moment with Veruca, when I want to slap her, is after her father has put his entire factory to work to find her a Golden Ticket. He rushes home to show it to her, proud as can be . . . and she hardly glances at it. Then she says, "Daddy--I want another pony." You know that Veruca wasn't really interested in the Golden Ticket or the factory tour that much; she only wanted the Golden Ticket because it was in the news. Such a contrast to Charlie Bucket, who dreamed of seeing the inside of the factory and built a model of it from toothpaste caps!


historicalpassion1 wrote:
**Mr. Salt is the only parent who is punished along with his or her child; he, too, is pushed down the garbage chute by the squirrels. Does the experience of the garbage chute seem to teach him anything?

Are you sure he's the only parent who's punished? Clearly Violet's mother will likely suffer more from the experience than Violet herself. I mean how embarrassing to have a blue child!!


Sure, Mrs. Beauregarde is embarrassed, but she didn't actually turn into a blueberry herself (although that blue costume was about as close as you could get). Mr. Salt actually participates in the punishment in the same manner that his child does--that's what I meant. He gets thrown down the garbage chute just like Veruca. He's the only parent to whom that happens, and I wondered why he was treated differently . . . does that mean he's somehow worse than all the others?

On a different thread, someone wrote that what Mr. Salt did, having his workers check hundreds and hundreds of candy bars, was really cheating. Maybe that's why he goes down the chute, too?


historicalpassion1 wrote:
Based on the reactions of the children and their parents when they leave the factory, I think Mr. Salt may be the only person who has truly learned anything.


I think you may be right about that.

historicalpassion1 wrote:
**During the tour, Mike consistently raises questions that Wonka cannot answer; rather than try, Wonka calls Mike a “mumbler” and pretends he can’t hear what Mike is saying. Is Mike too clever for his own good? Is there any way Mike’s father could have helped his son?

I think Willy Wonka can answer all of Mike's questions but chooses not to because the child is too clever for his own good. Answering the questions only encourages the boy. Mike is very disrespectful of grown-ups and does not deserve to be dignified with an answer.


That's an interesting idea--that Wonka won't engage in a debate with Mike Teevee because someone who shows so much contempt for Wonka's creations doesn't deserve the education Wonka could give him. I sort of automatically assumed that Wonka didn't answer Mike because he couldn't--either he didn't have the answer right at hand, or he was too socially awkward to be able to respond. (You know, that kind of thing where you think of the right thing to say five minutes after the other person has left the room.) But you have suggested another intriguing possibility--that Wonka is mirroring Mike and showing him what rudeness feels like. Mike shows contempt and Wonka gives him contempt right back. He's giving the kid an education. That seems quite in keeping with Roald Dahl's vision of Wonka, who seems always in control and never at a loss.

Thanks for sharing your ideas--

:wonka: :heart2:

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:22 pm 
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Parlez wrote:
Mike Teevee might be another sort of prototype ~ the Baby Einstein kind! The kid who's parents allow him to believe he's the smartest, best, most advanced thing to come out of their very ordinary gene pool. Kids who think they're better than their parents, and who's parents agree with that assessment, are pretty incorrigible. But then, Willy's no slouch when it comes to being incorrigible, so it was funny to see the two of them go at it!


That's a very interesting take on Mike Teevee, Parlez--thanks for sharing it. Baby Einstein, huh? Mike could have been raised that way. I agree that Mike's dad seems quite proud of the fact that his son is so smart that he "doesn't understand" what his son is saying or doing half the time. And he certainly seems to think that he ought not to put any curbs on Mike's behavior because--I don't know, genius should be allowed to run free, I guess. But one result of the way Mike's dad constantly downgrades himself compared to his son, is that his son has no respect for him. Mike is left with no mentor, no one to look up to for guidance, and there is no one to temper his inflated view of himself with a little compassion for others who are not as gifted. Mike doesn't just disregard other people; he seems to actively dislike them.

It is fun to see Wonka take Mike on, isn't it? Historicalpassion1 suggested that Wonka could answer Mike's questions but he chooses not to because he doesn't think the boy deserves an answer--not when he asked in such a contemptuous way. It's like Wonka is giving Mike enough rope to hang himself . . . letting the Teevees see where unchecked insubordination might land him. Mike needs to learn that he doesn't know everything, yet.

Thanks for sharing your ideas--

:wonka: :heart2:

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:39 pm 
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Endora wrote:
ptp, isn't this question largely one of those nature/nurture debates? Were these kids bad nuts from birth, unavoidably and genetically so, or were they made bad nuts by their upbringing by doting or ineffectual parents?

Those who feel the former is the case must live in a bleak world where any sort of moral progress in unlikely. Most people involved in education would hope that the answer is the latter.


Very insightful, Endora . . . I hope they aren't "bad nuts from birth" and that there are no such cases. I'd hate to think that for some of us, there is no hope for improvement. :blush: :banghead:

I think Roald Dahl would applaud you for raising the issue in this way. From the way he wrote CATCF, he certainly seems on the "nurture" side of the question and thinks overly permissive or otherwise unhelpful parents create those "bad nuts" we meet on the tour. And likewise, Charlie Bucket's family helps to shape his character in positive ways.

Thanks for sharing your ideas--

:wonka: :heart2:

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:31 pm 
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historicalpassion1 wrote:
**
[color=red]**During the tour, Mike consistently raises questions that Wonka cannot answer; rather than try, Wonka calls Mike a “mumbler” and pretends he can’t hear what Mike is saying. Is Mike too clever for his own good? Is there any way Mike’s father could have helped his son?


I think Willy Wonka can answer all of Mike's questions but chooses not to because the child is too clever for his own good. Answering the questions only encourages the boy. Mike is very disrespectful of grown-ups and does not deserve to be dignified with an answer.


That is how I saw it, too. I thought Willy had a very sly look on his face when he would call Mike a mumbler and refuse to answer the questions. I felt that he was trying to show Mike he wasn't at all impressed with his intelligence and smart mouth. Kind of like flicking away a mosquito. The "mumbler" bit is one of my favorite phrases in the movie.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:35 am 
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I'm just getting back to see what everyone else said about our last two bad nuts to see if anyone has any knew takes on them.

On this question of Mike Teevee and Willy. Since I am in the camp that thinks Willy did set up the little monsters, (I means children), I thought Willy was counting on Mike being intelligent enough to understand the teleporting aspect of the machine so he would not be afraid to jump in it to prove his point. Willy knew Mike would be too impatient to consider that he might be wrong and knew that he had invented something a bit different.

My opinion of Willy is a little different than some who feel Willy was a genius and could handle every situation. I did see his genius when it came to his candy inventions but he still had people problems and I felt the children intimated him several times and he was at a loss for a great answer so just came back with a childish argument like your short or I can't understand a word your saying.

Back to the acquisitiveness or the disobedience question. I took acquisitiveness as greed or wanting to acquire not inquisitive like a normal child would be. That was why I answered yes that both made them bad nuts.



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 6:25 pm 
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dramaqueen86 wrote:
**Mr. Salt is the only parent who is punished along with his or her child; he, too, is pushed down the garbage chute by the squirrels. Do you think Mr. Salt deserves this? Why or why not? Does the experience of the garbage chute seem to teach him anything? **


It`s almost as if, or IS as if, he [Willy] had wanted this horrible thing to happen all along to this spoiled little girl who had been handed everything to her on a silver platter all of her life, and getting the Father who was a part of making her that way was just a bonus of the deal. Spoil the child, and you end up becoming nothing more than a follower...

A lot of times, parents aren`t even HALF as aware of their parenting skills as the people around them, so i`m not sure if Mr. Salt knew how much his doting on his daughter affected her, or how to simply say "no" to her, which would have saved him so much trouble in the long run, but being sent down the garbage chute was definitely a wake-up call for him. Bending to a child`s every whim is something that is all to easy to fall in to, but in the long run, it is never the answer, and despite the fact that Veruca herself seemed basically unchanged by her smelly demise at the factory, it really opened her Father`s eyes. He was tired, upset, and absolutely filthy after this unorthodox (if not downright mean!) lesson, but in a major way, he had finally learned the power of "no".


Well put, dramaqueen86. Mr. Salt does seem really changed by his experience. Veruca may not have changed much yet--she is still asking for stuff as they leave the factory gates--but that's a very different parent walking beside her, telling her firmly that the only thing she's going to "get" is a bath. Which is what she truly needs.

I think Mr. Salt truly loves Veruca, and thought that gratifying her every wish was the way to make her happy. (But instead, the wishes just kept coming and getting more and more outlandish.) But you can't be a good parent if you indiscriminately say Yes to everything the child asks for. Not everything they ask for will be good for them; setting limits is the parent's task. It's part of education.

Thanks for sharing your ideas--

:wonka: :heart2:

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