Willy Wonka

Willy Wonka

1961
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew up… under the strict supervision of his father, a dentist. The elder Mr. Wonka never wanted his son to become a confectioner – every dentist’s enemy. When Charlie threatened to run away to the “candy capitals of the world” and leave his family behind, his father took him at his word and abandoned him.

Living… in his magical chocolate factory. Wonka has shrugged off any human attachment so as to dedicate himself to the art of candy-making. After all, a true artist cannot have a family holding him back. As Wonka puts it, “You can’t run a chocolate factory with a family hanging over you like an old, dead goose.”

Profession… founder and owner of The Willy Wonka Candy Company. Willy, though, is getting ready to think about retirement.

Interests… creativity and candy. Wonka believes in chocolate’s power to bring joy to the human heart. In his words, “Hey, by the way, did you guys know that chocolate contains a property that triggers the release of endorphins? Gives on the feeling of being in love.”

Relationship Status... single. Willy lives alone, and rather secretly, in the factory. He has only the mysterious Oompa-Loompas – undersized humans who serve as his live-in workforce ­– to keep him company. That seems to be the way the rather odd Wonka wants it.

Challenge… finding an heir. Wonka, who does not believe in the institution of family, has reached a point where he needs to begin thinking about the future. He hopes to find an heir who can succeed him in running his company, while matching his wonder and creativity.

Personality… eccentric, cheerful, and strange. Wonka has a child-like way about him. Although he constantly has a welcoming smile on his face, he won’t hesitate to let his guests know when he’s annoyed with them. His emotions are often close to the surface.

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