Just curious if each child stood for some specific evil or something. I feel like Augustus Gloop stood for Glutony (his name even has some similarity), but can't quite put my finger on the other kids. Or, was there some other meaning behind each child?
- Gluttony - Augustus
- Greed - Veruca
- Pride - Violet
- Sloth - Mike
- Envy - Grandpa Joe
- Lust - Charlie
- Wrath - Willy Wonka
Now, whether Dahl intended these representations to be read is another matter. I would argue Dahl simply wanted each child to be "bad" in their own way, with Charlie being our hero.
Interestingly, he originally drafted over 10 other children to be in the Chocolate Factory, before settling on the five above. Some pages from one of his manuscripts in the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre show his "fourth draft" of the novel's characters:
- Augustus: A greedy boy
- Miranda (a character later cut from the book): A girl who is allowed to do anything she likes
- Veruca Salt: A girl who is allowed to have anything she wants. (Interestingly, note the similarity between her description and Miranda's)
- Violet Beauregarde - A girl who chews gum all day long.
- Mike Teavee - A boy who is crazy about television.
- Charlie Bucket - The child we like best of all
Given that there don't appear to be any interviews where he suggests links between this and the Deadly Sins or other representations of evil, it seems likely that he felt they were simply fun bad characters, who all had interesting flaws that would make for a good story.
OOOH! I think I got them all... and it's based on their last names:
Agustus Gloop - Gluttony, like you said. Gloop is a any thick liquid or sticky substance... sounds like fat? He's constantly eating or complaining of hunger.
Violet Beauregarde - Pride. Beauregard means: Respected; regarded highly - Violet is constantly boasting/bragging about herself and what she's accomplished and she's hungry for more.
Veruca Salt - Greed. Salt was originally a form of money. Worth his salt. Veruca wants everything, when she wants it... and her family gives it to her because they can afford it. She's also selfish and rude, thinking only of herself.
Mike Teavee - Sloth. Color TV had just become a big thing in the Early 60s, when the book first came out. I'm guessing this started a trend of kids sitting around a TV rather than going out to play. Mike Teavee is obsessed with watching TV.
Notice that, in each of these cases, their parents are as much the problem as the kids are.
Agustus' parents feed him whatever he likes
Violet's parents encourage her to win more competitions.
Veruca's parents give her everything she demands.
MIke's parents let him watch as much TV as he likes without trying to curb him.
I've watched this film many times, so I'm pretty sure that Augustus Gloop is Gluttony, Violet Beauregarde is Pride, Veruca Salt is Greed, Mike Teavee is Sloth, Charlie and his grandpa Joe are Lust and Envy respectively, and Willy Wonka himself is Wrath of course. They kind of live the Seven Deadly Sins.