Roald Dahl · 176 pages
Rating: (529.8K votes)
“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books.”
“Everything in this room is edible. Even I'm edible. But, that would be called canibalism. It is looked down upon in most societies.”
“Mr. Wonka: "Don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted."
Charlie Bucket: "What happened?"
Mr. Wonka: "He lived happily ever after.”
“You should never, never doubt something that no one is sure of.”
“Good morning starshine the earth says hello....”
“I've heard tell that what you imagine sometimes comes true.
“Whipped cream isn't whipped cream at all if it hasnt been whipped with whips, just like poached eggs isn't poached eggs unless it's been stolen in the dead of the night.”
“The most important thing we've learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set --
Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotised by it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don't climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink --
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK -- HE ONLY SEES!
'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,
'But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!'
We'll answer this by asking you,
'What used the darling ones to do?
'How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?'
Have you forgotten? Don't you know?
We'll say it very loud and slow:
THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching 'round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it's Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.”
“I want an Oompa-Loompa!' screamed Veruca.”
“But there was one other thing that the grown-ups also knew, and it was this: that however small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance is there. The chance had to be there.”
“I am the maker of music, the dreamer of dreams!”
“Of course they're real people. They're Oompa-Loompas...Imported direct from Loompaland...And oh what a terrible country it is! Nothing but thick jungles infested by the most dangerous beasts in the world - hornswogglers and snozzwangers and those terrible wicked whangdoodles. A whangdoodle would eat ten Oompa-Loompas for breakfast and come galloping back for a second helping.”
“Mr Willy Wonka can make marshmallows that taste of violets, and rich caramels that change colour every ten seconds as you suck them, and little feathery sweets that melt away deliciously the moment you put them between your lips. He can make chewing-gum that never loses its taste, and sugar balloons that you can blow up to enormous sizes before you pop them with a pin and gobble them up. And, by a most secret method, he can make lovely blue birds' eggs with black spots on them, and when you put one of these in your mouth, it gradually gets smaller and smaller until suddenly there is nothing left except a tiny little DARKRED sugary baby bird sitting on the tip of your tongue.”
“EATABLE MARSHMALLOW PILLOWS
LICKABLE WALLPAPER FOR NURSERIES
HOT ICE CREAMS FOR COLD DAYS
COWS THAT GIVE CHOCOLATE MILK
FIZZY LIFTING DRINKS
SQUARE SWEETS THAT LOOK ROUND”
“And in that one grey hair I saw my whole life and I said "I think I need a hair.”
“However small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance was there.”
“There is something about very cold weather that gives one an enormous appetite. Most of us find ourselves beginning to crave rich steaming stews and hot apple pies and all kinds of delicious warming dishes; and because we are all a great deal luckier than we realize, we usually get what we want—or near enough.”
“Rainbow drops - suck them and you can spit in six different colours.”
“Oh, my sainted aunt! Don't mention that disgusting stuff in front of me! Do you know what breakfast cereal is made of? It's made of all those little curly wooden shavings you find in pencil sharpeners!”
“We are all a great deal luckier that we realize, we usually get what we want - or near enough.”
“Is she the only one at fault? For though she’s spoiled, and dreadfully so, A girl can’t spoil herself, you know. Who spoiled her, then? Ah, who indeed? Who pandered to her every need? Who turned her into such a brat? Who are the culprits? Who did that? Alas! You needn’t look so far To find out who these sinners are. They are (and this is very sad) Her loving parents, MUM and DAD. And that is why we’re glad they fell Into the garbage chute as well.”
“Don’t argue, my dear child, please don’t argue!” cried Mr. Wonka. “It’s such a waste of precious time!”
“Oh, books, what books they used to know, Those children living long ago! So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”
“He turned and reached behind him for the chocolate bar, then he turned back again and handed it to Charlie. Charlie grabbed it and quickly tore off the wrapper and took an enormous bite. Then he took another…and another…and oh, the joy of being able to cram large pieces of something sweet and solid into one's mouth! The sheer blissful joy of being able to fill one's mouth with rich solid food!
'You look like you wanted that one, sonny,' the shopkeeper said pleasantly.
Charlie nodded, his mouth bulging with chocolate.”
“Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” And at the same time, his long bony body rose up out of the bed and his bowl of soup went flying into the face of Grandma Josephine, and in one fantastic leap, this old fellow of ninety-six and a half, who hadn’t been out of bed these last twenty years, jumped on to the floor and started doing a dance of victory in his pajamas.”
“There’s no earthly way of knowing Which direction they are going! There’s no knowing where they’re rowing, Or which way the river’s flowing! Not a speck of light is showing, So the danger must be growing, For the rowers keep on rowing, And they’re certainly not showing Any signs that they are slowing. . . .”
“I, Willy Wonka, have decided to allow five children – just five, mind you, and no more – to visit my factory this year.”
“So shines a good deed in a weary world.”
“You can fool everyone else, but you can't fool your own mind.”
“You never wondered, Did Mom like being in the kitchen?”
“We heard the United States had a new president, that she was arranging for a loan from the Commonwealth to bail us out. We heard the White House was burning and the National Guard was fighting the Secret Service in the streets of DC. We heard there was no water left in Los Angeles, that hordes of people were trying to walk north through the drought-ridden Central Valley. We heard that the county to the east of us still had electricity and that the Third World was rallying to send us support. And then we heard that China and Russia were at war and the US had been forgotten.
Although the Fundamentalists' predictions of Armageddon grew more intense, and everyone else complained with increasing bitterness about everything from the last of chewing gum to the closure of Redwood General Hospital, still, among most people there was an odd sense of buoyancy, a sort of surreptitious relief, the same feeling Eva and I used to have every few years when the river that flows through Redwood flooded, washing out roads and closing businesses for a day or two. We knew a flood was inconvenient and destructive At the same time we couldn't help but feel a peculiar sort of delight that something beyond us was large enough to destroy the inexorability of our routines.”
“It is said a man doesn’t get old while his mother lives. I think it’s true. You are always a child in her eyes. It is irritating in the extreme. But you know, when they have gone, you’d give the earth just to hear them treating you like a child once more.”
“I have to kiss her again; I start with her lips. When I taste her on my tongue, I want more. I need more. Tugging on her bottom lip with mine elicits a soft groan of pleasure from her. I live in the sound of it.
When our bodies fit together, like pieces falling into place, I’m nearly undone by it and by her eyes. They narrow and her forehead leans forward to rest against mine. Through her eyes, I can almost see inside her soul. That’s where I long to be: centered near her soul, wedged between it and her heart. ~ Reed's POV”
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