“The Little Glutton” in Flowers for Children by Lydia Maria Child depicts a story about Laura, a girl that eats so much, her head starts to ache. She then gets annoyed when her brother comes and pulls on her curls, but she wouldn’t if she didn’t eat so much. The story tells that her kitten, her canary birds, the bees, and the squirrels are more wise than her because they eat enough to stay alive, and productive instead of eating more than they need like she does. The story ends with comparisons like: “I had rather be a bird, even if they shut me up in a cage, than to be a glutton,” to highlight the severity of Laura’s eating problem.
This story reminded me a lot about the character Violet in Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. Violet is one of the golden ticket winners, but also holds the record for chewing the same piece of gum for the longest time in the world. She is a very competitive girl in nature, so when she gets to the factory, she always tries to get everything first. She gets overly excited about a gum that Charlie has been tinkering with that tastes like tomato soup at first, then roast beef, and finally, blueberry pie and ice cream. All the while, Charlie is telling her to spit it out, but Violet insists, and finally she starts to swell up while simultaneously turning purple. She eventually has to be rolled out into the juicing room to get squeezed before blowing up, and then has to leave the factory.
LYDIA MARIA CHILD, “The Little Glutton,” in Flowers for Children, II, New York: C.S. Francis, 1844 (Pages 112-114) http://www.bostonliteraryhistory.com/chapter-4/lydia-maria-child-%E2%80%9C-new-england-boy%E2%80%99s-song-about-thanksgiving-day%E2%80%9D-flowers-children-ii
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Warner Bros, 2005. Film.