旺卡(Wonka)的金票抽獎活動如何確保孩子們獲勝?


44

旺卡說,在查理和巧克力工廠中,

I don't want a grown-up person at all. A grownup won't listen to me; he won't learn. He will try to do things his own way and not mine. So I had to have a child. I want a good sensible loving child [...]

然後查理回應,

So that is why you sent out the Golden Tickets!

旺卡的回复

Exactly! I decided to invite five children to the factory, and the one I liked best at the end of the day would be the winner!

但是一直令我困惑的是,發放金票如何確保孩子而不是大人獲勝?當然,許多成年人都試圖找到門票。旺卡怎麼會知道沒有人能得到一個?對此是否有解釋?

26

As far as I can see, it isn't addressed anywhere in the book. It's possible that Wonka simply assumed that all candy bars are bought by children — it's a children's book, and seems to be full of generalizations like that. But there is one other bit that sheds some light. The newspaper story announcing the golden tickets before the chocolate bars containing them were actually distributed begins with

I, Willy Wonka, have decided to allow five children — just five, mind you, and no more — to visit my factory this year.

Which makes it clear that only children will be allowed. It's not clear exactly what would happen if an adult were to claim one of the tickets, but we can imagine that Wonka would engineer some situation or other to prevent an adult from entering his factory.


52

Strictly speaking, an adult does find one of them. One of the women working at the factory of Veruca Salt's father is the person who opens the particular candy bar with the Golden Ticket.

But Mr. Wonka is explicit, as hobbs correctly notes, in saying that only five children would be allowed on the tour (with one or two guardians apiece). So while technically this Rosie the Walnut-Sheller would be allowed into the factory, it would be whatever child she brought with her who would be taking the tour (and competing for the prize).


12

Because it's a fairy tale.

I know that's not a long enough answer to satisfy the SE gods. But it really is all there answer there is. Fairy tales follow fairy tale logic and fairy tale logic is moral, not physical. The five children were chosen by a moral logic that selected one representative of virtue and four representatives of vice, and, most importantly, the representative of virtue had no idea that he, and he alone, was the representative of virtue, for that is one of the essential qualities of virtue in the moral order of fairy tales.

That's why.

Any other explanation is illogical because it imposes a non-fairytale logic on a fairytale, and the only logic that applies to fairytales, and which applies with iron ferocity in fairytales, is moral logic. Thus no agency was required for the tickets to find their intended recipients; it is morally impossible that they should have been found by anyone else.


-2

Times have changed. In the 1960s it was far more unusual for an adult to eat chocolate bars than it would be today.


1

By the same logic, why does he leave it up to chance who will find them in the first place, given that he was clearly looking for a specific type of child to visit him? After all, the primary purpose of this was to select a successor - selecting 5 kids at full random and choosing his favorite seems like a very odd way to choose a successor (especially given that 4 out of the 5 - 80% of the candidates - were clearly completely unsuitable).

It's unknown the extent to which Wonka was leaning on the process (if he was at all). The fact that Violet's father had his entire factory looking for the Wonka bar would suggest that that one at least wasn't the result of him leaning on the process, but it's quite plausible that Charlie's was no accident. (After all, the previous 4 did seem to be unsuitable for some rather obvious reasons even just based on the news coverage of them, so it would seem rather absurd for him not to make any effort to lean on the results of the final one). Obviously, the text doesn't directly answer that, though.

That being said, the rules of the contest do specify that only children were permitted to win the contest, so presumably if an adult had found the ticket they would've been obliged to give it to a child.

Given the previous facts, though, another possible answer is that "he assumed that children would win for the same reason that he believed that at least one of the winners would be suitable to be a successor." This suggests that either the process wasn't as random as it looked, or that the author simply intended for us to suspend our disbelief on the point.

It is, of course, possible that it really was sheer good luck on Wonka's part, or that he believed that 5 children was enough to give him good odds of finding at least one suitable successor; by sheer statistical odds, that would require that at least 20% of the world's children (1/5) were suitable as successors (i.e. had the characteristics he was looking for). Maybe he was optimistic that a kid who hadn't been "spoiled" yet could be trained to be his next successor.

One final possibility (and this is obviously speculative): it's quite possible that there was a "Plan B" to find a successor if this plan didn't work out. If Charlie had ended up not working out, then maybe he would've just run another contest or something like that to get more candidates.