CATCF Question #4 - Competition

by Roald Dahl

Moderator: Liz

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

CATCF Question #4 - Competition

Unread postby Liz » Fri Mar 04, 2005 9:43 am

On Pg. 15 Grandpa Joe continues his story about Willy Wonka….

“You see, Charlie,” he said, “not so very long ago there used to be thousands of people working in Mr. Willy Wonka’s factory. Then one day, all of a sudden, Mr. Wonka had to ask every single one of them to leave, to go home, never to come back.”
“But why?” asked Charlie.
“Because of spies.”
“Spies?”
“Yes. All the other chocolate makers, you see, had begun to grow jealous of the wonderful candies that Mr. Wonka was making, and they started sending in spies to steal his secret recipes. The spies took jobs in the Wonka factory, pretending that they were ordinary workers, and while they were there, each one of them found out exactly how a certain special thing was made…………”

Is Dahl commenting on an increasingly competitive world?
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

User avatar
es
Posts: 9964
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 2:56 pm
Location: den helder,aan zee

Status: Offline

Unread postby es » Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:34 am

i think he commentented on even more by that .
jalousie,but also lack of own ideas,people just stole ideas instead of thinking of something new by thereselfs.
the whole it doesnt matter wat you self if only it brings in money attitude.
(but maybe he just neede an excuse to put the oompa loompas in,)
greetings,
es

User avatar
Vivi Sparrow
Posts: 7109
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 3:54 pm

Status: Offline

Unread postby Vivi Sparrow » Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:58 am

es wrote:i think he commentented on even more by that .
jalousie,but also lack of own ideas,people just stole ideas instead of thinking of something new by thereselfs.
the whole it doesnt matter wat you self if only it brings in money attitude.


I agree with you.

User avatar
Veronica
Posts: 5951
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 8:42 am
Location: Ohio

Status: Offline

Unread postby Veronica » Fri Mar 04, 2005 1:10 pm

I agree es too, people trying to take the easier way of doing things instead of working hard to acheive it themselves. Trying to make a buck on someone elses ideas.
Everything is always okay in the end,
if it's not, then it's not the end.

Today is a gift....Have Fun!

User avatar
luvdepp
Posts: 1839
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 11:52 am
Location: California

Status: Offline

Unread postby luvdepp » Fri Mar 04, 2005 1:31 pm

I don't know if it's the competitiveness he's commenting on or the fact that no one seems to want to take the time to be original and come up with new ideas. We seem to just recycle old ideas that worked the first time around. Be it TV shows, music, movies, fashion. I'm glad there are people like Tim Burton and Johnny around who are willing to take risks and try something different. Yes, they are taking a movie that's been done before, but they aren't trying to re-make it, they're going for something completely different than the original, more like what Dahl had in mind hopefully. :cool:
"So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself, who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on the shore and merely existed." ~HST~

User avatar
fansmom
Posts: 2059
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 4:50 pm
Location: Olney, Maryland

Status: Offline

Unread postby fansmom » Fri Mar 04, 2005 2:54 pm

I agree with the ideas of competitiveness and lack of originality, but in addition, CATCF was published in 1964. Kim Philby, the notorious British spy, defected to Moscow in 1963. He--and the Cold War in general--would have been front page news.

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Unread postby Liz » Fri Mar 04, 2005 3:02 pm

fansmom wrote:I agree with the ideas of competitiveness and lack of originality, but in addition, CATCF was published in 1964. Kim Philby, the notorious British spy, defected to Moscow in 1963. He--and the Cold War in general--would have been front page news.


:-O Good find there, Fansmom.

I agree with what you all have said, that he may have been commenting on lack of originality. That would make sense based on what we know about Dahl. You can't get more original than CATCF. But I think he might also be feeling the competition as a writer. I get this feeling because of a comment he made about trends at universities in the Twilight Zone interview, saying that Hemmingway was out of favor at the time. I got a sense that it bugged the heck out of him. I know that interview is many years later, but he could have always had those feelings. I also wonder if the world was becoming much more competitive all of a sudden in the early 60's. I don't remember.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

User avatar
Endora
Posts: 16341
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:03 pm
Location: Darkest UK~ Down in Albion

Status: Offline

Unread postby Endora » Fri Mar 04, 2005 3:12 pm

Liz wrote:
fansmom wrote:I agree with the ideas of competitiveness and lack of originality, but in addition, CATCF was published in 1964. Kim Philby, the notorious British spy, defected to Moscow in 1963. He--and the Cold War in general--would have been front page news.


:-O Good find there, Fansmom.

I agree with what you all have said, that he may have been commenting on lack of originality. That would make sense based on what we know about Dahl. You can't get more original than CATCF. But I think he might also be feeling the competition as a writer. I get this feeling because of a comment he made about trends at universities in the Twilight Zone interview, saying that Hemmingway was out of favor at the time. I got a sense that it bugged the heck out of him. I know that interview is many years later, but he could have always had those feelings. I also wonder if the world was becoming much more competitive all of a sudden in the early 60's. I don't remember.


There's also the point that this was not so long after WW2. Dahl's family was from Norway. Was Norway occupied? I think it was. How old was Dahl then? Early 20's I think. He certainly joined the RAF. Could there be something in the occupation of his family's country that has brought on this piece about spies?
Work hard, learn well, and make peace with the fact that you'll never be as cool as Johnny Depp. GQ.

Solace in the flood

User avatar
axelsgirl
Posts: 380
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2004 3:54 am
Location: Oregon

Status: Offline

Unread postby axelsgirl » Fri Mar 04, 2005 3:17 pm

I believe he was commenting on competitiveness in the corporate world. As a research assistant for a timber company, I had to sign a confidentially agreement when I joined the company.
We were working on fire resistant and fire retardant materials at our facility and had to be very careful when visitors or vendors came to visit. My DH is working in the pulp and paper industry and invented a technique to improve the quality of pulp made from recycled paper. He and the company got the process patented as soon as they could to protect their investment. Companies have to keep the leading edge to sell product and curtail layoffs. I didn't like the part in CATCF where Mr. Wonka got rid of all his workers and brought in the oompa loompas to take their jobs, reminds me of sending manufacturing jobs overseas because they can pay the workers so much less and the working conditions don't have to be up to U.S. standards. :twocents: :soapbox:
"Yeah, well, let's keep on truckin'!"

User avatar
fansmom
Posts: 2059
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 4:50 pm
Location: Olney, Maryland

Status: Offline

Unread postby fansmom » Fri Mar 04, 2005 3:19 pm

Whoo-boy, Norway sure was occupied, and was a dangerous place with spies, Nazi sympathisers, and an active resistance:

"AS IN ALL the other occupied countries, the Nazi power profited from the support of local sympathisers. During a visit to Hitler in Berlin in the winter of 1939-40, the leader of the national socialist Nasjonal Samling Party, Vidkun Quisling, had pointed out how valuable it would be for Germany to occupy Norway. Immediately after the invasion, on the morning of April 9, 1940, he proclaimed himself the new head of the government and ordered the Norwegian armed forces to stop battling the Germans. But Quisling's intervention backfired and stimulated the resistance. Thus, the occupying power quickly realized that -- for the time being -- Quisling did not serve their interests and they chose to base their administration of the country on a certain degree of give-and-take with the existing civilian authorities."

User avatar
Endora
Posts: 16341
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:03 pm
Location: Darkest UK~ Down in Albion

Status: Offline

Unread postby Endora » Fri Mar 04, 2005 3:30 pm

Fansmom, your historical knowledge is far better than mine, but, yes, of course, Quisling! So famous that his name became a noun:

Quisling: One who aids the enemy (Chambers dictionary)
Work hard, learn well, and make peace with the fact that you'll never be as cool as Johnny Depp. GQ.

Solace in the flood

User avatar
Caitlin
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2004 3:59 pm
Location: AZ

Status: Offline

Unread postby Caitlin » Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:00 pm

I've had discussions in many classes about the competitiveness of people. Are we a cooperative society or a competitive society? Why can't we get along and cooperate? Everytime the answer is because we are all struggling for power. Perhaps the struggle for power does have hints of the Cold War in it, seeing as we were in an arms race to create the most modern technology and be ahead of the times. Same goes for the chocolate factories. They all wanted the best product that money could buy so that they could defeat all other competition. When plans for something leaked out, everyone had it. Same goes for the atom bomb.

Also, the lack of originality brings to mind a discussion of post modernism that I had in my mystery class the other day. I read that post modernism came about in the 50's, so perhaps Dahl was bringing to light the ideas of post modernism.

One characteristic of post modernism is that everything is borrowed. There are no original ideas, they all come from somewhere else. (New inventions are borrowed- well stolen- and recreated because there is no originality)

Another is the use of modern technology. Wonka is always trying to create the newest, most modern technology available.

Another is that everything seems "packaged." Everything, no
matter what it is, can be sold. Even ideas. It's a very capitalist society where everyone wants to be the most successful and have the most money.
"Do you like avocados?" -Sam
"Life would be a whole lot more interesting with a bunch of Willy Wonkas running around."

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Unread postby Liz » Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:59 pm

Caitlin wrote:Also, the lack of originality brings to mind a discussion of post modernism that I had in my mystery class the other day. I read that post modernism came about in the 50's, so perhaps Dahl was bringing to light the ideas of post modernism.

One characteristic of post modernism is that everything is borrowed. There are no original ideas, they all come from somewhere else. (New inventions are borrowed- well stolen- and recreated because there is no originality)

Another is the use of modern technology. Wonka is always trying to create the newest, most modern technology available.

Another is that everything seems "packaged." Everything, no
matter what it is, can be sold. Even ideas. It's a very capitalist society where everyone wants to be the most successful and have the most money.


Very interesting ideas, Caitlin! It's amazing what I learn from all of you. :-O
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

User avatar
Veronica
Posts: 5951
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 8:42 am
Location: Ohio

Status: Offline

Unread postby Veronica » Fri Mar 04, 2005 6:56 pm

Caitlin wrote:I've had discussions in many classes about the competitiveness of people. Are we a cooperative society or a competitive society? Why can't we get along and cooperate? Everytime the answer is because we are all struggling for power. Perhaps the struggle for power does have hints of the Cold War in it, seeing as we were in an arms race to create the most modern technology and be ahead of the times. Same goes for the chocolate factories. They all wanted the best product that money could buy so that they could defeat all other competition. When plans for something leaked out, everyone had it. Same goes for the atom bomb.

Also, the lack of originality brings to mind a discussion of post modernism that I had in my mystery class the other day. I read that post modernism came about in the 50's, so perhaps Dahl was bringing to light the ideas of post modernism.

One characteristic of post modernism is that everything is borrowed. There are no original ideas, they all come from somewhere else. (New inventions are borrowed- well stolen- and recreated because there is no originality)

Another is the use of modern technology. Wonka is always trying to create the newest, most modern technology available.

Another is that everything seems "packaged." Everything, no
matter what it is, can be sold. Even ideas. It's a very capitalist society where everyone wants to be the most successful and have the most money.


that statement reminded me of the quote I saved from Jim Jarmusch.

Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.” - Jim Jarmusch
Everything is always okay in the end,

if it's not, then it's not the end.



Today is a gift....Have Fun!

User avatar
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
Posts: 10378
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:43 pm
Location: Austin

Status: Offline

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Mar 04, 2005 10:12 pm

We know that Dahl was charged with writing a document about a spy camp from Tidbit #23 - see below. The post war period was certainly filled with stories of such goings on.

A British operative wounded during the war, Dahl was sent to New York to convalesce. From there, he made his way to Camp X, where he was one of several writers charged with documenting its activities. Dahl's observations were included in a manuscript that was intended, according to Batten, as a "blueprint of British intelligence operations in North America." Twenty copies were printed and bound in leather (by an Oshawa press, which is now in the possession of the historical society). Stephenson stowed 10 in a safe somewhere in Montreal, but later ordered them destroyed. The remaining 10 manuscripts he sent to leaders of the free world and intelligence organizations. When and where they will surface -- if ever they do -- is as much a mystery as their content.


veronica wrote: that statement reminded me of the quote I saved from Jim Jarmusch.

Quote:
Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.” - Jim Jarmusch


Caitlin wrote: One characteristic of post modernism is that everything is borrowed. There are no original ideas, they all come from somewhere else. (New inventions are borrowed- well stolen- and recreated because there is no originality)


If we take our perceptions of things that already exist and rearrange them in ways that no one else has considered or done or seen is that not original? Hmmm.... I think my brain hurts. :dunce:


Great answers today! :highfive: Keep 'em coming!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!


Return to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest