Mr. Slugworth In ‘Wonka,’ Explained: What Did He Have Against Noodle?


Wonka, directed by Paul King, made us privy to many peculiar characters, but the most cruel and cunning of them all was the head of the chocolate cartel named Mr. Slugworth. The eccentricity of Mr. Slugworth was that he would do anything, stoop to any level, to be in a position of power and have control over the chocolate industry. So, let’s find out what he was up to and what happened when he crossed paths with the famous Willy Wonka.

Spoiler Alert

What worried the chocolate cartel?

For years, the chocolate cartel had a monopoly over the sale and manufacture of chocolate at Galeries Gourmet. People ate what they produced, and nobody complained about it as they did not have any reference points, and the chocolate, too, was of decent quality. But then there came a chocolate maker who was no less than a magician, and he gave samples to people that left them dumbfounded. The texture, the flavor, and the aftertaste of Wonka’s chocolate were so complex and mind-blowing that it felt like people transcended into a parallel realm the moment they put a piece of Wonka’s brilliance on their tongue. The first time Wonka gave people his chocolates, the chocolate cartel trio, Mr. Slugworth, Prodnose, and Fickelgruber, realized that he could pose a threat to their company. The police were called immediately, and the Chief was told to arrest Wonka as he was breaking the law by selling chocolate without owning a shop. Affable, the police constable, felt bad for the boy, but his hands were tied, and he could do nothing to save Wonka. After that, the chocolate cartel believed that Wonka wouldn’t trouble them, but they didn’t know what they were up against. Wonka found a way to sneak out of Mrs. Scrubbit’s guest house every day, and he traveled on the streets and sold his chocolates for extremely affordable prices so that everyone could have them. This socialist attitude of Wonka worried the chocolate cartel even more, and they started keeping a close eye on his movements so that they could find a way to get rid of him once and for all.

What did Slugworth do to get rid of Wonka?

Slugworth got a bit taken aback when he realized that Noodle was one of Wonka’s team members. At that juncture in the film, we didn’t know why he felt so threatened by the little girl, whom he didn’t even know. Slugworth made an elaborate plan to throw Wonka’s life off balance and destroy his career as a chocolate maker. He gave money to Scrubbit and Bleacher and asked them to adulterate Wonka’s ingredients, with which he made his magical chocolates. The customers got infuriated when they got to know about it, and Wonka’s castle of dreams, which he bought after putting in so much effort, burned down to ashes. That’s when Slugworth, Prodnose and Fickelgruber came up with an offer: they told Wonka to leave the city forever, and they would, in turn, not only pay his debts but also those of all his team members, and make sure that Noodle got enough money to stand on her feet and have a comfortable life. Wonka realized that he probably should make that sacrifice because, anyway, the dream of making chocolate had gone down the drain. But the Chocolate Cartel’s plan was not as bona fide as it seemed. They planned to bomb the ship and kill Wonka while he was aboard. They were able to deceive him and send him on the ship to the North Pole, but Mr. Wonka was able to find out that the boat was going to explode, and he jumped off it just in time and saved his life.

Why did Slugworth want Noddle to stay trapped?

Slugworth was not only an insecure man, but he was a classist of the highest order. He considered people like Noodle to be urchins, and that’s why he treated them with utter disdain. Noodle was Slugworth’s niece, and he knew about it from the very beginning. Slugworth’s brother, Zebedee, was nothing like him, and for him, the economic status of people did not determine if he could be friends with them. Zebedee fell in love with a girl named Dorothy Smith, but soon after that, he met his fateful end and left his wife and his newborn daughter to fend for themselves. Dorothy went to Slugworth to ask for help, as Noodle was terribly ill and needed proper medical care. The inhuman Slugworth believed that, firstly, his brother shouldn’t have indulged with such a woman, and he took it upon himself to make sure that he didn’t have to call her family and additionally, she didn’t have any sort of claim over his property. The vile man left poor Noodle in scary Scrubbit’s laundry shaft and later informed Dorothy that her daughter had died. It was the most cruel and barbaric thing that the man could have done, and it told us the extent to which he could go to save his hollow reputation in society. Once again, in the present, he did the same thing after he sent Wonka on that boat to die. He gave money to Mrs. Scrubbit and told her to keep Noodle trapped forever.

How did Slugworth’s crimes come to light?

Slugworth believed that he had created the perfect plan to get rid of his competitor, and he once again had the monopoly over the chocolate industry., but he was wrong. His greed and corrupt attitude became the reasons for his downfall. He and his associates ate the jar of chocolates that Wonka gave them to hand over to Oompa-Loompa, and the little guy came to get what was his. The Oompa-Loompa saved Wonka and Noodle from drawing in the chocolate, and they were able to steal the green ledger book, which had all the illegal transactions they had ever been a party to. When Slugworth realized that he had no option left, he decided to run away with his associates, but that’s when Wonka’s hoverfly chocolate did the trick. Because the trio had consumed an entire jar of Hoverfly, they started floating in the air, and their entire liquid chocolate stash was put in the public fountain by Wonka. Slugworth, till the very end, tried to evade the clutches of law, but the sinister acts of the classist got hold of him and sent him to the gallows, where he deserved to be.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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