JLS (jlsjlsjls) wrote,


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

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.