Up@dawn 2.0

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Philosophy of Willy Wonka 14/4 Megan Phouthavong (pt1)

A few nights ago, I was sitting on the couch, attempting to read Being and Nothingness by Jean Paul Sarte with the tv on in the background as static noise, when Willy Wonka came on.
This movie was an integral part of my childhood. It has everything I look for in a movie: drama, comedy, music, and imagination. Immediately I knew this would be my final project. Doing my own interpretive research, I have decided that I would share certain philosophers' ideas and how they connect to a character in the movie, as well as one philosopher's overall beliefs and how they connect to the movie as a whole.
Today, Veruca Salt is the unlucky winner.

Veruca is an English girl whose father is a very successful business man. He has many employees and they all do whatever he asks of them. So when Willy Wonka says he will be opening his factory to only 5 children with golden tickets, Veruca demands that her father use his factory for "shucking" chocolate bars instead of nuts to find a golden ticket for her. She seems like a child who would grow up to be a dictative leader. She knows at a young age that you need to make the necessary actions to stay on top. Machiavelli would agree with Veruca in many ways.
Many people are intimidated by Veruca and Machiavelli would most likely think that intimidation is alright for her. Niccolo Machiavelli believed in the idea of doing what you must to keep the power you have attained. Did he agree with murder? Yes and No. He did not agree with outright murdering for no reason. He did not agree in any injustice just for the sake of doing so. However, if killing others, lying, stealing, etc was needed to keep the power that a leader has come into possession of, then he would say that it is acceptable behavior. He stresses that it is better to be feared than to be loved. He also says that an effective leader may have to, at times, act like a beast. Veruca made her father pause his nut cracking factory and made all her father's workers to open those candy bars. She also always wants to be first. She has to be first into Wonka's chocolate factory, be the first to sign the contract, and she wants the golden egg before anyone else gets one. She is constantly acting like the lion, and never like the fox.
However, Machiavelli would definitely criticize Veruca for being brute all the time. When you are always using force, you may get clouded eyes and fall into a trap. When Veruca throws her temper tantrum about how "she wants it now!" she stops paying attention and climbs onto a scale which has a trash chute underneath. It was not necessarily a trap, but it was certainly something she should have, and would have noticed had she not been so focused on getting what she wanted "NOW".

Machiavelli and Veruca have many of the same attributes and ideas about how to proceed in life. In my next post, I will compare and contrast Augustus Gloop and Jeremy Benthem's ideas of attaining happiness.

Word Count: 535

1 comment:

  1. I love this! Great topic - it's funny how things just fall into your lap like that, isn't it? I read your Augustus Gloop one too, and I'm excited for your next post!