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10 The Family Begins to Starve
10 The Family Begins to Starve
During the next two weeks, the weather turned very cold. First came the snow. It began
very suddenly one morning just as Charlie Bucket was getting dressed for school.
Standing1 by the window, he saw the huge flakes2 drifting slowly down out of an icy sky
that was the colour of steel.
By evening, it lay four feet deep around the tiny house, and Mr Bucket had to dig a
path from the front door to the road.
After the snow, there came a freezing gale3 that blew for days and days without
stopping. And oh, how bitter cold it was! Everything that Charlie touched seemed to be
made of ice, and each time he stepped outside the door, the wind was like a knife on his
Inside the house, little jets of freezing air came rushing in through the sides of the
windows and under the doors, and there was no place to go to escape them. The four old
ones lay silent and huddled4 in their bed, trying to keep the cold out of their bones. The
excitement over the Golden Tickets had long since been forgotten. Nobody in the family
gave a thought now to anything except the two vital problems of trying to keep warm
and trying to get enough to eat.
There is something about very cold weather that gives one an enormous appetite.
Most of us find ourselves beginning to crave5 rich steaming stews6 and hot apple pies and
all kinds of delicious warming dishes; and because we are all a great deal luckier than
we realize, we usually get what we want – or near enough. But Charlie Bucket never got
what he wanted because the family couldn’t afford it, and as the cold weather went on
and on, he became ravenously7 and desperately8 hungry. Both bars of chocolate, the
birthday one and the one Grandpa Joe had bought, had long since been nibbled9 away,
and all he got now were those thin, cabbagy meals three times a day.
Then all at once, the meals became even thinner.
The reason for this was that the toothpaste factory, the place where Mr Bucket
worked, suddenly went bust10 and had to close down. Quickly, Mr Bucket tried to get
another job. But he had no luck. In the end, the only way in which he managed to earn a
few pennies was by shovelling11 snow in the streets. But it wasn’t enough to buy even a
quarter of the food that seven people needed. The situation became desperate. Breakfast
was a single slice of bread for each person now, and lunch was maybe half a boiled
Slowly but surely, everybody in the house began to starve.
And every day, little Charlie Bucket, trudging12
through the snow on his way to school, would have to pass Mr Willy Wonka’s giant
chocolate factory. And every day, as he came near to it, he would lift his small pointed13
nose high in the air and sniff14 the wonderful sweet smell of melting chocolate.
Sometimes, he would stand motionless outside the gates for several minutes on end,
taking deep swallowing breaths as though he were trying to eat the smell itself.
‘That child,’ said Grandpa Joe, poking15 his head up from under the blanket one icy
morning, ‘that child has got to have more food. It doesn’t matter about us. We’re too old
to bother with. But a growing boy! He can’t go on like this! He’s beginning to look like a
‘What can one do?’ murmured Grandma Josephine miserably16. ‘He refuses to take any
of ours. I hear his mother tried to slip her own piece of bread on to his plate at breakfast
this morning, but he wouldn’t touch it. He made her take it back.’
‘He’s a fine little fellow,’ said Grandpa George. ‘He deserves better than this.’
The cruel weather went on and on.
And every day, Charlie Bucket grew thinner and thinner. His face became
frighteningly white and pinched. The skin was drawn17 so tightly over the cheeks that you
could see the shapes of the bones underneath18. It seemed doubtful whether he could go
on much longer like this without becoming dangerously ill.
And now, very calmly, with that curious wisdom that seems to come so often to small
children in times of hardship, he began to make little changes here and there in some of
the things that he did, so as to save his strength. In the mornings, he left the house ten
minutes earlier so that he could walk slowly to school, without ever having to run. He
sat quietly in the classroom during break, resting himself, while the others rushed
outdoors and threw snowballs and wrestled19 in the snow. Everything he did now, he did
slowly and carefully, to prevent exhaustion20.
Then one afternoon, walking back home with the icy wind in his face (and
incidentally feeling hungrier than he had ever felt before), his eye was caught suddenly
by something silvery lying in the gutter21, in the snow. Charlie stepped off the kerb and
bent22 down to examine it. Part of it was buried under the snow, but he saw at once what
it was.
It was a fifty-pence piece!
Quickly he looked around him.
Had somebody just dropped it?
No – that was impossible because of the way part of it was buried.
Several people went hurrying past him on the pavement, their chins sunk deep in the
collars of their coats, their feet crunching23 in the snow. None of them was searching for
any money; none of them was taking the slightest notice of the small boy crouching24 in
the gutter.
Then was it his, this fifty pence?
Could he have it?
Carefully, Charlie pulled it out from under the snow. It was damp and dirty, but
otherwise perfect.
A WHOLE fifty pence!
He held it tightly between his shivering fingers, gazing down at it. It meant one thing
to him at that moment, only one thing. It meant FOOD.
Automatically, Charlie turned and began moving towards the nearest shop. It was
only ten paces away… it was a newspaper and stationery25 shop, the kind that sells almost
everything, including sweets and cigars… and what he would do, he whispered quickly
to himself… he would buy one luscious26 bar of chocolate and eat it all up, every bit of it,
right then and there… and the rest of the money he would take straight back home and
give to his mother.


1 standing 2hCzgo     
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
2 flakes d80cf306deb4a89b84c9efdce8809c78     
小薄片( flake的名词复数 ); (尤指)碎片; 雪花; 古怪的人
  • It's snowing in great flakes. 天下着鹅毛大雪。
  • It is snowing in great flakes. 正值大雪纷飞。
3 gale Xf3zD     
  • We got our roof blown off in the gale last night.昨夜的大风把我们的房顶给掀掉了。
  • According to the weather forecast,there will be a gale tomorrow.据气象台预报,明天有大风。
4 huddled 39b87f9ca342d61fe478b5034beb4139     
  • We huddled together for warmth. 我们挤在一块取暖。
  • We huddled together to keep warm. 我们挤在一起来保暖。
5 crave fowzI     
  • Many young children crave attention.许多小孩子渴望得到关心。
  • You may be craving for some fresh air.你可能很想呼吸呼吸新鲜空气。
6 stews 8db84c7e84a0cddb8708371799912099     
n.炖煮的菜肴( stew的名词复数 );烦恼,焦虑v.炖( stew的第三人称单数 );煨;思考;担忧
  • Corn starch is used as a thickener in stews. 玉米淀粉在炖煮菜肴中被用作增稠剂。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Most stews contain meat and vegetables. 炖的食物大多是肉类和蔬菜。 来自辞典例句
7 ravenously 6c615cc583b62b6da4fb7e09dbd37210     
  • We were all ravenously hungry after the walk. 我们散步之后都饿得要命。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The boys dug in ravenously. 男孩们开始狼吞虎咽地吃起来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
8 desperately cu7znp     
  • He was desperately seeking a way to see her again.他正拼命想办法再见她一面。
  • He longed desperately to be back at home.他非常渴望回家。
9 nibbled e053ad3f854d401d3fe8e7fa82dc3325     
v.啃,一点一点地咬(吃)( nibble的过去式和过去分词 );啃出(洞),一点一点咬出(洞);慢慢减少;小口咬
  • She nibbled daintily at her cake. 她优雅地一点一点地吃着自己的蛋糕。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Several companies have nibbled at our offer. 若干公司表示对我们的出价有兴趣。 来自《简明英汉词典》
10 bust WszzB     
  • I dropped my camera on the pavement and bust it. 我把照相机掉在人行道上摔坏了。
  • She has worked up a lump of clay into a bust.她把一块黏土精心制作成一个半身像。
11 shovelling 17ef84f3c7eab07ae22ec2c76a2f801f     
v.铲子( shovel的现在分词 );锹;推土机、挖土机等的)铲;铲形部份
  • The workers are shovelling the sand. 工人们正在铲沙子。 来自辞典例句
  • They were shovelling coal up. 他们在铲煤。 来自辞典例句
12 trudging f66543befe0044651f745d00cf696010     
vt.& vi.跋涉,吃力地走(trudge的现在分词形式)
  • There was a stream of refugees trudging up the valley towards the border. 一队难民步履艰难地爬上山谷向着边境走去。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Two mules well laden with packs were trudging along. 两头骡子驮着沉重的背包,吃力地往前走。 来自辞典例句
13 pointed Il8zB4     
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。
14 sniff PF7zs     
  • The police used dogs to sniff out the criminals in their hiding - place.警察使用警犬查出了罪犯的藏身地点。
  • When Munchie meets a dog on the beach, they sniff each other for a while.当麦奇在海滩上碰到另一条狗的时候,他们会彼此嗅一会儿。
15 poking poking     
n. 刺,戳,袋 vt. 拨开,刺,戳 vi. 戳,刺,捅,搜索,伸出,行动散慢
  • He was poking at the rubbish with his stick. 他正用手杖拨动垃圾。
  • He spent his weekends poking around dusty old bookshops. 他周末都泡在布满尘埃的旧书店里。
16 miserably zDtxL     
  • The little girl was wailing miserably. 那小女孩难过得号啕大哭。
  • It was drizzling, and miserably cold and damp. 外面下着毛毛细雨,天气又冷又湿,令人难受。 来自《简明英汉词典》
17 drawn MuXzIi     
  • All the characters in the story are drawn from life.故事中的所有人物都取材于生活。
  • Her gaze was drawn irresistibly to the scene outside.她的目光禁不住被外面的风景所吸引。
18 underneath VKRz2     
  • Working underneath the car is always a messy job.在汽车底下工作是件脏活。
  • She wore a coat with a dress underneath.她穿着一件大衣,里面套着一条连衣裙。
19 wrestled c9ba15a0ecfd0f23f9150f9c8be3b994     
v.(与某人)搏斗( wrestle的过去式和过去分词 );扭成一团;扭打;(与…)摔跤
  • As a boy he had boxed and wrestled. 他小的时候又是打拳又是摔跤。
  • Armed guards wrestled with the intruder. 武装警卫和闯入者扭打起来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
20 exhaustion OPezL     
  • She slept the sleep of exhaustion.她因疲劳而酣睡。
  • His exhaustion was obvious when he fell asleep standing.他站着睡着了,显然是太累了。
21 gutter lexxk     
  • There's a cigarette packet thrown into the gutter.阴沟里有个香烟盒。
  • He picked her out of the gutter and made her a great lady.他使她脱离贫苦生活,并成为贵妇。
22 bent QQ8yD     
  • He was fully bent upon the project.他一心扑在这项计划上。
  • We bent over backward to help them.我们尽了最大努力帮助他们。
23 crunching crunching     
v.嘎吱嘎吱地咬嚼( crunch的现在分词 );嘎吱作响;(快速大量地)处理信息;数字捣弄
  • The horses were crunching their straw at their manger. 这些马在嘎吱嘎吱地吃槽里的草。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The dog was crunching a bone. 狗正嘎吱嘎吱地嚼骨头。 来自《简明英汉词典》
24 crouching crouching     
v.屈膝,蹲伏( crouch的现在分词 )
  • a hulking figure crouching in the darkness 黑暗中蹲伏着的一个庞大身影
  • A young man was crouching by the table, busily searching for something. 一个年轻人正蹲在桌边翻看什么。 来自汉英文学 - 散文英译
25 stationery ku6wb     
  • She works in the stationery department of a big store.她在一家大商店的文具部工作。
  • There was something very comfortable in having plenty of stationery.文具一多,心里自会觉得踏实。
26 luscious 927yw     
  • The watermelon was very luscious.Everyone wanted another slice.西瓜很可口,每个人都想再来一片。
  • What I like most about Gabby is her luscious lips!我最喜欢的是盖比那性感饱满的双唇!


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