From Pygmies to Puppets: What To Do with Roald Dahl’s Enslaved Oompa-Loompas in Modern Adaptations?

Cantrell, Kate ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5689-614X and Burton, David ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2727-0030 (2021) From Pygmies to Puppets: What To Do with Roald Dahl’s Enslaved Oompa-Loompas in Modern Adaptations? The Conversation, 16 September 2021. pp. 1-4.

[img]
Preview
Text (Published Version)
From Pygmies to Puppets - Kate Cantrell and David Burton.pdf
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives 4.0.

Download (7MB) | Preview

Abstract

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, like all of Roald Dahl’s novels for children, celebrates courage, resilience, and the creative power of childhood. Charlie Bucket is literally starving to death by the time he arrives at Willy Wonka’s factory. Yet his steely determination to find the last golden ticket, combined with his strong moral compass, sees him emerge as Wonka’s heir, his family’s hero, and the architect of his fate. But there is a troubling aspect to this story. In the first edition of Charlie (1964), the Oompa-Loompas are black pygmies who Wonka imports from “the deepest darkest part of the African jungle” and enslaves in his factory. In this latest stage production, the Oompa-Loompas are transformed into “humanettes” (living dolls that are part human, part puppet). Their recent manifestation raises a number of questions. What do the Oompa-Loompas represent? And how should they be portrayed in modern-day adaptations?


Statistics for USQ ePrint 43703
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version made available in accordance with Creative Commons Attribution/No Derivatives License 4.0.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Humanities and Communication (1 Mar 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Creative Arts (1 Mar 2019 -)
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2021 05:19
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2021 00:31
Uncontrolled Keywords: Roald Dahl; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Oompa-Loopmas; children's fiction; children's theatre; puppets; whitewashing; racism
Fields of Research (2008): 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190402 Creative Writing (incl. Playwriting)
Fields of Research (2020): 36 CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 3604 Performing arts > 360403 Drama, theatre and performance studies
47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4705 Literary studies > 470506 Children's literature
36 CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 3602 Creative and professional writing > 360201 Creative writing (incl. scriptwriting)
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280122 Expanding knowledge in creative arts and writing studies
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280116 Expanding knowledge in language, communication and culture
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/43703

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only