JLS (jlsjlsjls) wrote,
JLS
jlsjlsjls

Hmmmmm

One doesn't expect to get the sensation of the brain being whacked by a 2x4 while rereading an old childhood favourite, does one? A few months ago, I bought a copy of Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" ... the edition I read and reread and loved as a kid lives at my mother's house, since it was a gift to all of us munchkin siblings, rather than an individual (all the "share books" are still at Mom's, to the benefit of the grandkids). Late last night, when I got too lazy to knit, I finally pulled it out of the bookcase and started reading it. All smooth sailing, until I got to the Oompa-Loompas. Huh? "His skin was rosy-white, his long hair was golden brown"? Waitaminnit! That's NOT what I remember!

So went a-Googling this morning to find out when the change happened (no trouble figuring out the WHY) and found Politically Correct Oompa–Loompa Evolution. A pity. A pity that adults think that way and immediately assume that kids do too. They don't ... it never would have occurred to the juvenile me to think of the Oompa-Loompas as slaves, second-class, or the victims of racism (if I'd even thought of it, I would have figured that any Oompa-Loompa who didn't like the land of Wonka could walk out the gates any time he/she wanted to and go ANYWHERE he/she wanted to). The only reason for even specifying their race in the story was for a rather lovely bit of humour (which later readers shan't get to giggle over) ... the factory visitors immediately assuming that the magical Willy Wonka had found a way to bring chocolate to life.

Ah well. Like I said, I understand the reasons for the change. But I sometimes can't help thinking that the best way to eliminate racism and bigotry on this planet would be to keep the adults away from the children for a generation.

***makes mental note to tell Mom to change her will to state that the old edition in her possession must be kept in the family, generation to generation***
Tags: reading
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