Definition

slacker1 (noun)
1. An idle person; a shirker.

Evidence

Quotes

Observations

Analysis

In the early stages of the story it is clearly established that Grandpa Joe does not contribute to the household in a meaningful way. He does not work and, in fact, has not left his bed in twenty years. He offers criticism of the situation, but is unwilling to work to help improve it.

He initially claims that he is unable to help and offers a litany of excuses why he can not get out of bed. Things change rapidly when Charlie finds the golden ticket. He is suddenly able to get out of bed and engage in quite a stunning display of physical prowess.

Not only does he get out of bed, but he begins capering and dancing about. This is hardly what one would expect of a 96 and a half year old man, nor of one who hadn't put his feet on the floor in years. Some might argue that it was purely adrenalin allowing him a brief burst of activity, but a careful reading of the book reveals that he is able to run the following day and to engage in activities which leave others in the tour group winded and asking for a pause10.

Footnotes and Sources

  1. Arbor Media, Inc., AllWords.Com.
    Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 AllSites.com, Inc.
  2. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971, Mel Stuart, US, 100 mins).
  3. Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (New York: Puffin Books, 1998) pp. 47,49
  4. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971, Mel Stuart, US, 100 mins).
  5. Dahl, p. 109
  6. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005, Tim Burton, US, 115 mins).
  7. Dahl, p. 104
  8. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971, Mel Stuart, US, 100 mins).
  9. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005, Tim Burton, US, 115 mins).
  10. It is worth noting that it is Mrs. Salt who is left asking for a respite rather than one of the Gloops. Based on the depiction of her in both the book and movie, she appears to be in reasonably good health, certainly better health than one would expect from a 96 year-old man who had spent twenty years in bed.

This page last modified on March 9, 2013
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