Black Charlie was originally to be embedded in a Wonka Easter Egg

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Black Charlie was originally to be embedded in a Wonka Easter Egg

Sep 24 2017

Follow last week's revelation from Roald Dahl's widow that he initially intended the hero of his 1964 classic, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to be black, Catherine Keyser, an associate professor of English at the University of South Carolina, provides additional nuance to the story that was originally to be titled Charlie's Chocolate Boy, and involved Charlie being embedded in a life size candy mold in the Easter Room:

"The mold closes, and the chocolate pours over his body and he is suffocating and nearly drowning in it. And it hardens around him, which feels terrible. He's trapped. He's alive but can't be seen or heard. No one knows where he's gone. Then he gets taken to Wonka's house to be the chocolate boy in Wonka's son’s Easter basket...

...So I think it's neat that in this midcentury moment Dahl has this black boy get stuck inside a mold that fits him perfectly - he emphasizes that - everything about the mold fits Charlie, except once the chocolate inside the mold hardens, it's uncomfortable! So what better symbol of what it's like to be turned into a racial stereotype than a black boy who gets stuck inside a life-size chocolate mold and can't be seen or heard through this chocolate coating."

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