The Sweet Life Without Anxiety
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Tim Burton, is one of the greatest films ever made for both the art film and mainstream movie industries. The book-based film managed to bring across the reality of different kinds of anxiety in children. According to psychologists, child anxiety is characterized by overwhelming fear, worry and apprehension. In the film, some of the children who entered Willy Wonka’s confectionery factory exhibited some forms of anxiety. As the story goes, Willy Wonka announced that five golden tickets would be placed inside chocolates made and sold by his company. Whoever found the tickets would be allowed a rare chance to enter and see how the factory works. One of the lucky ticket holders, Violet Beauregard, the competitive and athletic girl, exhibited performance anxiety. Psychological experts say that this type of anxiety is described to be an overwhelming fear of not being on the top or not being first place. Violet Beauregard, which was seen in the movie, was a goal-getter. Trained by her mom, she managed to amass multitudes of trophies which helped her to go for more. Also, there are number of movie montage that showed the idea of performance anxiety which was seen in Violet. It is also noteworthy to include that her mother helped ignite the performance anxiety in Violet as she always push her to her limit.
Just like in the movie, many children in real life tend to be overtly conscious of their performance and self-worth. While many children love being in the limelight or being acknowledged as the best in what they do, some actually do get exhausted due to the chronic pressure of having to always “perform.” Performance anxiety can also be caused by the high and unrealistic realistic standards set by parents like what Mrs. Beauregard did in the movie. These pressures can escalate to a point where it has a negative impact on a child’s development, engendering a feeling of tension and anxiety.
Another character exhibiting signs of child anxiety was Veruca Salt, the rich girl who always got what she wanted from her doting father. One time, she asked for a horse from a father, and he willingly gave in to would always give into the whims of his daughter. Social anxiety, or the overwhelming care on one’s personal status was exhibited in the part where she asked for one of the squirrels working as a nut sorter for Willy Wonka. Although she did not have any use for a trained squirrel, she demanded the purchase of one from her father believing that their social status and wealth entitles them to anything that she desires.
This type of anxiety is present in children everywhere. Social groups or cliques in school are formed because its members believe that they are privileged and deserve to be set apart from the rest of the population.
Movies can act as a mirror of what happens in real life. In this sense, the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory sheds some light on a part of a child’s life that can threaten their development, educating viewers on the adverse effect of anxiety on children. Whether or not they take these lessons to heart is entirely up to them.