In light of the description of anthropomorphism, I think it is only fitting to use the novels Charlotte s Web and Watership Down to demonstrate them. While both of these novels show animals behaving in different manners, they are both uncharacteristic of normal animal behavior. Charlotte s Web shows animals’ behavior as primarily human while Watership Down demonstrates animals behaving mostly as animals. This said we see that both these novels show their characters with human traits, however, they are all confined to their physical limitations as animals. A perfect example of this is Charlotte, from Charlotte s Web.
However, the activities, physical and mental, actions, and behavior demonstrated by the rabbits in Watership Down are typically the things that humans would expect from rabbits. This said, Charlotte s behavior in Charlotte s Web, is what we might expect to see from a human being. Her spinning of the web with a word or two in it is not a common activity for spiders. While examining the animal s actions, partially sheds light on the stories that we are reading. It helps unravel the ideas and advance the plot. It does not, however, give us insight into the behavior, specifically the god-like actions that demonstrate anthropomorphism in both these novels. While all the characters in both these novels are earthly there is usually at least one in each that has some God-like character traits. The anthropomorphism that we see in Charlotte is the prime example being examined from both novels.
While Charlotte is Wilbur s savior and protector, she is still only a spider. White does not give her the physical ability to do things that a spider cannot normally do. Therefore, she must save Wilbur in a way that makes it possible for a spider to do. She spins a web that becomes a miracle, which in turn saves Wilbur from his almost uncertain death. The thought of that is nonsensical within itself. How could a spider have the brainpower to devise such a clever plan to save her friend? This is where White returns to the idea of animals behaving as humans. While Charlotte is only a spider, she uses the ability that she has (spinning webs) to demonstrate some human actions. The ability to spin a web in such words as Some Pig. While to a child this might not seem to be as thought-provoking as adults make it out to be, it is.
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The behavior that Charlotte exhibits is the single action that saves Wilbur’s life for the second time the first time that Wilbur s life was saved was by Fern. Although the reasons that Fern Saved Wilbur s life was for very different reasons that Charlotte s. As examined in the reading pack, Fern was going through a stage in her life where little girls like to mother and care for smaller and needier objects. Charlotte is a very different character with very different motives. Charlotte saves Wilbur because of the person that she is. It is in her inherent mothering nature, as well it demonstrates her martyrdom. She uses her abilities as a spider to save Wilbur’s life. In doing so she is not able to live her life to the fullest. She recognizes that spiders live short lives, regardless of their actions. She disregards this thought to save Wilbur.
By the end of the novel, her actions have come full circle. In the final chapter of the story, Charlotte passes away and it is up to Wilbur to take care of and educate her children. In her sacrifice, she becomes a saint. Giving of herself and eventually her life for the good of others. The characters in Watership Down are an interesting comparison for Charlotte s Web. Charlotte s Web was written many years before Watership Down. While all the characters in Watership Down are all rabbits and subsequently behave as such. They do not seem to have extraordinary talents and abilities, the way the animals in Charlotte s Web do.
They have a society that governs them as rabbits but their behavior has no effect on the outside world, especially human characters. That is the main visible difference between the two novels. Our protagonist, Hazel, has a younger brother Fiver. Fiver was the runt of the litter and it’s constantly being watched over by Hazel. While it does provide us with some early insight into the characters, it is not till much later on that we are given a full scope of all the characters and their behavior. This said that it takes us almost to the completion of the book to have a greater understanding of the characters and their roles in their rabbit society.
I chose to read Charlotte’s Web because it has always been one of my favorite stories. I instantly knew this would be the perfect story to write about human and animal interrelationships. There are many different relationships between the people and the animals throughout this book. Along with those relationships, there are also various interrelationships between the animals as well. I loved reading this book again and found it the perfect book for this type of essay. The story begins with a litter of pigs being born at the Arable’s farm. There were a total of eleven pigs, including the runt. Normally, Mr. Arable kills the runt because it usually dies anyway. However, Fern, the Arable daughter, became very upset when she heard her Papa was going to kill the baby pig.
She begged and pleaded with him until he finally gave in and told her that he would not kill the runt if she took care of it. Fern was so ecstatic to have her very own baby pig. She named her new pig Wilbur. Wilbur loved Fern and would follow her wherever she went. After Wilbur was two weeks old, he had to live outside in a little wooden box under the apple tree. Fern would go outside every day to feed, walk, and play with Wilbur. They both really loved each other’s company. Unfortunately, when Wilbur was five weeks old, Fern had to sell him to her Uncle Homer Zuckerman. The Zuckerman’s farm was close to Ferns’s house, so she could go and visit Wilbur whenever she pleased. The farm had horses, cows, geese, chickens, sheep, dogs, cats, and now Wilbur. Wilbur became very bored on the farm; he no longer got to go on walks or swims with Fern. He was always stuck in his little pigpen.
One sunny day, Wilbur was just walking around his pen talking to himself about how bored he was when a goose overheard. The goose told Wilbur that there was a board loss on his pen and he could get out and do whatever he wanted. Since Wilbur was so bored he decided that he would like to leave the pen and see what’s out there. While walking around the farm with complete freedom, Mrs. Zuckerman saw him. She yelled out to her husband and Lurvy, the hired man to go and catch him. News like this spread fast throughout the farm. All the animals were talking about Wilbur’s freedom. Then Mr. Zuckerman, Lurvy, and the dog surrounded Wilbur. All the animals started yelling for Wilbur to run away. However, the sweet smell of slope soon came over Wilbur’s nose, and he was quickly lured back into his pen.
There is a lot of human and animal interrelationship in these first three paragraphs. Mr. Arable doesn’t really care about the pigs, he just uses them to make money. He doesn’t see them as actual living things that have feelings just like him. However, his daughter Fern makes a real connection with Wilbur. She saves his life and takes care of him just as she would her own child. They become each other’s best friend. If Ferns is not at school, she is with Wilbur. They do everything and go everywhere with each other. They become true companions. Fern also develops a relationship with the rest of the animals on the farm. They all get to know her and start to trust her. They allow her to sit in their pens and watch Wilbur.
In the next three chapters, many things happen at the Zuckerman farm. Wilbur becomes very, very lonely. He had planned his whole day out. He planned when he would eat when he would sleep, and when it would just sit there doing absolutely nothing. Unfortunately, when he awoke all his plans went out the window due to the rain. So he then asked the goose to play with him, but she was sitting on her eggs. Next, he asked a sheep to play with him but the sheep said no and called him less than nothing. Not even Templeton the rat would take time out of his day to play with poor Wilbur. Wilbur then became extremely depressed and started to weep.
Right before Wilbur was about to go to bed he heard a little voice that said, Do you want a friend, Wilbur? I’ll be a friend to you (White 31). Hearing this excited Wilbur, but he was confused because he couldn’t see where this little friendly voice was coming from. The voice then told Wilbur to go to sleep, and that they will meet in the morning. Wilbur did as he was told, and in the morning he discovered his new friend was a spider named Charlotte A. Cavatica. At first, Wilbur was disgusted by his new friend Charlotte. She showed him how she caught her food in her web and sucked out their blood. Wilbur didn’t know what to think about her because he really wanted a friend, but he thought that what she did was very cruel.
In these three chapters, there weren’t any human and animal interrelationships because there weren’t any humans mentioned. However, there were a lot of animal relationships between Wilbur and the other animals. The goose doesn’t even give Wilbur the time of day, and just sort of sees him as a distraction. The sheep say they consider pigs less than nothing, which is odd to me because what do the sheep do that make them that great? Hearing this just devastates poor Wilbur, as it would anyone. Wilbur then turns to Templeton who has no interest in Wilbur, just Wilbur’s food. After hearing that no one cares about him Wilbur becomes very depressed. He feels that he doesn’t have any friends on the farm, which makes him sad because he was so used to having a friend all the time when he lived with Fern. Then Charlotte comes into the picture, but Wilbur isn’t so sure if he really wants to be her friend because she is so bloodthirsty.
In the next couple of chapters, Wilbur gets extremely stressed. One of the sheep tells him that the Zuckerman’s are just fattening him up to kill him at Christmas time. Naturally, Wilbur freaks out and starts running around saying Save me, I don’t want to die! (50). Charlotte overheard the conversation between the sheep and Wilbur and told Wilbur to calm down. Charlotte said that she would come up with a plan to save Wilbur. The next morning Fern tells her family all about the animals at the barn. She tells her parents exactly what the animals were saying, which implies that she can understand the animal talk. Her mom gets very concerned and says she is going to call Fern’s doctor. Fern’s dad just blows off the whole conversation like it wasn’t a big deal.
Later the next afternoon, Wilbur starts admiring Charlotte’s Web. He tells Charlotte that he thinks he could build a web just like hers if he wanted to do so. Charlotte knows that this is impossible and tells Wilbur to try. So Wilbur then climbs to the top of the manure pile and jumps off hoping a string will come out of his butt and catch him. Naturally, this does not happen, and Wilbur lands flat on his face in the ground. His next brilliant idea is to tie a string that Templeton gave him to his tail, and then try the same thing again. Just like the first attempt, this one failed too. Wilbur finally gives up, and everyone including Fern laughs at him. Charlotte then cheers him up and tells him to just lie down and relax. After a while of silence, Wilbur asks Charlotte how she plans on saving him from being at Christmas dinner. Charlotte says she has not thoroughly thought of the plan yet, but she will think of one that will work.
Wilbur is still very curious about how this is going to work and keeps asking Charlotte many questions. Finally, Charlotte tells him not to worry, and just to do as he’s told. She then tells him to eat well, stay healthy, and to get a lot of rest. Wilbur does as he is told, and falls asleep. In these last three paragraphs, the first human and animal interrelationship is between the Zuckermans and Wilbur. The Zuckermans just see Wilbur as a Christmas dinner. The reason they feed him and take care of him is not that they actually care about him; it is because they want a nice, big Christmas dinner. To me, this is so sad. I don’t know how people could raise a pig and then just kill it and eat it! I know this is what happens in real life, and it is how everyone gets their bacon and ham, but it is just so sad to me.
The other human and animal interrelationship is between Fern and all the animals on the farm. Fern can understand the animals when they talk to one another. She knows what all of them are saying, but I don’t think the animals know she has this special gift. Fern’s mom just thinks she is going crazy, but Fern’s dad just blows it off like it’s nothing. I think this is probably one of the most important human and animal interrelationships throughout the story. During the next three chapters, many events take place. First, Charlotte figures out a way that she can trick the Zuckermans into not killing Wilbur. However, she knows she has to work fast because there isn’t a lot of time. That day, Fern and Avery come down to the Zuckerman’s house for some blueberry pie. Avery brings a frog with him, which causes a disaster in the Zuckerman’s house.
After the frog incident, the two of them decide to go swing on the rope in the Zuckerman’s barn. After they got tired of swinging they went and picked some raspberries. While doing this, Avery found a little candy box to put his frog in. Fern then wants to go and visit Wilbur, so they both walk over to the pigpen. Avery discovers Charlotte and her web. He then tries to knock Charlotte out of her web and kill her. Luckily, Avery tripped and happened to break Templeton’s rotten egg. The nauseating smell lures Avery and Fern away from the pigpen, and Charlotte. The next day was very foggy, which made it easier to see Charlotte’s web. When everyone awoke they discovered that Charlotte had written the words some pig, in her web.
The Zuckermans were so startled by this message and started to believe they truly had an amazing pig. Mr. Zuckerman then went and told a fellow priest, who of course told the whole town. By the next day, people were lined up in front of Wilbur’s pen to see him, as well as Charlotte’s web. With all this excitement, Charlotte knew her plan to save Wilbur’s life was working. But she knew that in order to keep Wilbur alive she would need to do more, and change the words. So Charlotte then called a group meeting where they decided the new word would be terrific. However, Charlotte wanted more words as well, so she then convinced Templeton to go to the dumpster and collect magazine clips with more words on them that would continue impressing the people.
The first human and animal interrelationship demonstrated in these chapters was between Avery and Charlotte. Avery saw Charlotte and her web and automatically wanted to swat her down and kill her. Even though Charlotte wasn’t bothering Avery one bit, his natural instincts were to just kill her. This shows that not all human and animal interrelationships are good, or fair in this case. Another human and animal interrelationship shown in these chapters was between all the people and their reactions to Charlotte, Wilbur, and Charlotte’s web. The people were so astonished by the sight of the writing in Charlotte’s web. They could not believe that a spider could spin the letters so clearly in her web.
The words of some pig completely changed everyone’s views of Wilbur. Before, he was just an ordinary pig that one day would be made into dinner, but now he is so good looking and perfect in their eyes. It’s really interesting how animals can change the views of people so easily. During the next three chapters, many events occur. After the words some pig started to get old, Charlotte decided to reconstruct her web, and write in the word terrific. Once again, everyone came down to the Zuckerman’s farm to see the new web. Wilbur loved all of the attention and started to believe that he was a terrific pig. Mr. Zuckerman also loved all of this attention. He started giving Wilbur all sorts of special treatment and decided that he will enter him in the Country Fair.
Templeton searched through the dumpster to look for new words that Charlotte could carve into her web. His first couple of trips weren’t very successful; however, he finally found the perfect word, radiant. Wilbur loved the new word, and started doing flips and turns to prove that he was a radiant pig. After a long day of flipping, Wilbur lay down and asked Charlotte to tell him some stories. She went on telling him about her cousin who actually caught a fish in her web, and how another one of her cousins was a balloonist. The next day Fern told her mom all the stories about Charlotte’s cousins. Her mom began to worry about Fern, and how she thinks she can understand animals. Her mom decided to go see Dr. Dorian talk about Fern’s strange behaviors.
Dr. Dorian didn’t see anything wrong in what Fern was doing, and he actually found it quite enchanting. Mrs. Arable then goes on to ask if he has heard about the words written in Charlotte’s web. He says he has heard about them, and that it is a miracle that a spider could spin a web in the first place. So the fact that Charlotte could write something in it does not surprise him. Mrs. Arable then felt relieved after Dr. Dorian told her that he thinks Fern is perfectly fine. Wilbur started thinking about the County Fair, and what was going to happen to him. He asked Charlotte if she was going to come with him but she said she wouldn’t be able to. Charlotte needs to stay at the farm and lay her eggs during that time. Wilbur pleads and pleads with her until she finally says she will try her best to be there. However, she knew she wasn’t going to be able to help Wilbur much longer because she needs to start building her sac for the eggs.
There are quite a few human and animal interrelationships during these couple of chapters. The first one is between Mr. Zuckerman and Wilbur. Mr. Zuckerman now sees Wilbur as something more than food. Wilbur has a chance to win the County Fair, and become useful to Mr. Zuckerman. In reality, Wilbur is still the same old pig, but because of Charlotte’s words on the web, Wilbur all of a sudden becomes a prized possession, as well as a very important asset to Mr. Zuckerman’s farm. Wilbur loves all the attention the people give him, as well. He now sees himself as terrific and radiant, instead of just a normal old pig. So here, both Wilbur and Mr. Zuckerman help each other out. Another human and animal interrelationship that is shown in this chapter is through Dr. Dorian. Dr. Dorian explains to Fern’s mother that it is perfectly fine that Fern spends all of her time at the Zuckerman barn.
He goes on to tell her that animals are very amazing creatures, especially spiders. Dr. Dorian says that he is not surprised by the miracle that Charlotte could spin a letter in her web because he thinks it’s an even greater miracle that a spider can spin a web in the first place. To me, this shows that Dr. Dorian really respects animals and all the amazing things they can do. During the next three chapters, they take Wilbur to the County Fair. Mrs. Zuckerman wanted Wilbur to look extra clean, so she bathed him in buttermilk. The buttermilk worked very well, making Wilbur white as can be. After Wilbur was all clean, everyone went and changed into their best clothes to go to the fair in. When they were all done they met at Wilbur’s pen to help load him in his crate. When Mr. Arable saw Wilbur, he made a remark that the Zuckermans will get some extra good ham and bacon from him when they kill him in the winter.
When Wilbur heard this he immediately passed out. Fern ran over to him with tears in her eyes, and Lurvy ran over with a bucket of cold water to splash on him. When Wilbur regained consciousness, they all helped load him into the car and took off to the fair. Wilbur felt a lot better now that Charlotte and Templeton were coming with him as well. When they arrived at the fair many people gathered around to see Wilbur. Charlotte soon became worried because she noticed that the pig next to Wilbur was much bigger than Wilbur. However, when Charlotte went down to meet the large pig she was not impressed with his personality. His name was Uncle, and according to Charlotte he is too familiar, too noisy, and cracks weak jokes. This made Wilbur feel a little better because he knew that he could win over the crowd with his radiant personality.
The next night Charlotte set Templeton out to find a new word for her web. She told him to make it a good word because it will be the last one she will ever create. Templeton found the word humble written on a piece of newspaper and brought it back to Charlotte. He said humbly describes Wilbur perfectly because it means two things: not proud and near the ground. Charlotte agreed that it was a good word for the web, and quickly got to work. Later that night when the web was complete, Wilbur could not see Charlotte. She told him that she was in a different corner creating a masterpiece. Wilbur wanted to know what this masterpiece was, but Charlotte told him to get some rest and she will show him in the morning.
In these few chapters, there weren’t very many interrelationships between humans and animals. The time that there was any interaction between the two was when they were all at the Zuckerman’s farm talking about Wilbur. Mr. Arable made a remark about killing Wilbur, which shows that he has not changed his views on Wilbur from the beginning of the story. He is a farmer who sees pigs as food and nothing else. Fern on the other hand sees Wilbur as a companion, and would never do anything to hurt him. She shows her affection for Wilbur by running over to him and holding him when he passed out. They have a very close bond just like anyone would have with someone or something they loved.
During the last chapters of the book many events occur. The first event was that Charlotte laid an egg sac with five hundred and fourteen eggs in it. Wilbur becomes ecstatic that Charlotte is going to become a mom, and that he will have a whole lot of new friends. However, Charlotte has horrible news for Wilbur. She tells him that she has become very ill. But she doesn’t want to focus on the negative, so she changes the subject and points out how beautiful her web looks with the new word in it. It was the best web out of all the ones she had created before. But then, of course, Templeton returns from a night of ravishing around the fairgrounds with some unfortunate news.
Templeton tells Charlotte and Wilbur that he noticed that Uncle, the pig next door has a blue ribbon placed on his pen. He then went on to tell Wilbur that this meant that Wilbur will soon be forgotten by everyone, and eventually end up as the Zuckerman’s Christmas dinner. This hit Wilbur really hard, but he tried to stay strong and listen to Charlotte. Charlotte told him not to worry, and everything will be fine. Within a couple of minutes, the whole gang returned to see Wilbur. Fern pointed out the new web, and everyone stood admiring it with astonishment. Then Mrs. Zuckerman began to cry because Avery pointed out that Uncle had already won first prized. Everyone became very upset, except for Mr. Zuckerman. Mr. Zuckerman took control and told everyone to help him bathe Wilbur, and make him look his best.
Everyone did as they were told. Suddenly, there was an announcement over the loudspeakers that Wilbur had won a special prize, and everyone was to report to the judge’s booth. Excitement rushed through the whole fair as everyone raced over to the booth. Once everyone was there, the announcer presented Mr. Zuckerman a prize of $25 and a bronze medal for Wilbur. Wilbur had won this award because he and the words on the web had brought many spectators to the fair from all around. Everyone cheered, and Wilbur felt so proud. Then as things wound down, the Zuckerman’s took Wilbur back to his pen before loading up the car. Wilbur noticed that Charlotte was a lot quieter than normal. Charlotte then told Wilbur that she would not be returning to the farm with him because she would only live for one more day.
This news hit Wilbur hard and began to weep. He did not know what he would do without Charlotte, his best friend. Then Wilbur came up with an idea to bring Charlotte’s egg sac back to the barn with him so Charlotte would at least know her children would be safe. So Wilbur called over Templeton to run up and get the sac. However, Templeton would not do it unless Wilbur agreed to give Templeton the first pick of his food from that day forward. Wilbur instantly agreed. As Wilbur was being loaded back into his crate, he had Charlotte’s egg sac safe in his mouth. He could not talk, so he looked up and gave Charlotte a wink. Charlotte knew that he was saying goodbye and quietly said goodbye back.
The next day Charlotte died alone. Wilbur, Templeton, and her eggs were all back at the barn with the other animals. They all made it through the cold winter, and patiently awaited the little spider’s arrivals. Then one warm morning they finally hatched. They all said hi to Wilbur, but then made little balloons with their strings from their butts, and flew away. Wilbur began to cry because they were all leaving him and he thought he would be all alone again. Then he heard three little voices coming from the corners of the doorway. Wilbur looked up and saw that three of Charlotte’s daughters decided to stay, their names were Joy, Aranea, and Nellie. They became Wilbur’s close friends because now that Fern was growing up she didn’t stop by to visit as often. As the years went on Wilbur became friends with Charlotte’s daughters, granddaughters, and even great-granddaughters. However, none of them could ever take the place of Charlotte in Wilbur’s heart.
In these chapters, the Zuckerman’s and the Arables all fall in love with Wilbur and his achievement. Wilbur essentially becomes their hero and the highlight of their lives. However, Fern who was Wilbur’s best friend didn’t even want to stay to see Wilbur win his prize. She was too busy running around after a boy on the Ferris wheel. This shows that human and animal interrelationship changes a lot throughout the story. At the beginning of the story, all Fern cared about is Wilbur and his health. Her parents, along with the Zuckerman’s didn’t care about Wilbur; they just saw him as a good Christmas dinner. However, as the story develops, the tables turn, and it seems that Fern outgrows Wilbur in a sense. Fern still loves Wilbur, and always will, but she has found other loves in her life now as well. Whereas the Zuckerman’s find a whole new love in Wilbur, and now see him as their pet.
I thought the interrelationships in the last few chapters were very interesting. However, the true relationship in the last chapters was between Charlotte and Wilbur. Charlotte succeeds in saving Wilbur’s life, and in return, Wilbur protects Charlotte’s eggs for her. They both would do anything for one another, whether it meant giving up their own lives or just always being there for the other. Charlotte’s Web was a great book to read for this essay. Not only did it show human and animal interrelationships, but it also showed animal relationships as well. It demonstrated the many ways people perceive and value certain animals, along with how their views can change. Fern saves Wilbur’s life and develops a very close connection with him.
They become best friends and would do everything together. However, no one else saw Wilbur in the way that Fern did. They saw Wilbur as a pig that would be used for food. Poor Wilbur then got sent away to the Zuckerman’s farm where their intentions were to kill him come summertime. There was no interrelationship between them and Wilbur. Eventually, Wilbur develops a close relationship with the animals on the farm, especially Charlotte. As time goes on, Charlotte and Wilbur become extremely close, and Charlotte also saves Wilbur’s life. The Zuckermans and Arables also start to develop a close relationship with Wilbur when he becomes famous. They end up seeing Wilbur as their pet, as well as part of the family. However, it took words in a web for them to realize how great of a pig Wilbur actually was.
“Charlotte is truly the ideal role model of unconditional love in Charlotte’s Web.” Do you agree with this quotation? Support your answer with close evidence from the novel. In fantasy like Charlotte’s Web, the animals are true to their natures, yet similar to people. They think and worry and love and hurt and laugh and needle one another as people do. In Charlotte’s Web, human truths of friendship and love are revealed. I strongly agree with the statement that Charlotte is truly the ideal role model of unconditional love and will support my stand by highlighting Charlotte’s selfless acts, contrasting her with Templeton, showing why he is the complete opposite of her, comparing her with other models of love such as Fern, Mrs. Arable and the goose and lastly, proving that Wilbur’s change is a result of her unconditional love.
We know Charlotte’s nature very well. She was Wilbur’s best friend and savior; beautiful and intelligent. As White put it, “It’s not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.” She is not only motherly, but hardworking, and her web words prove it. She is the same wise and selfless character at the end of the story that she was at the beginning, which makes her the ideal model of unconditional love. In Wilbur’s first conversation with Charlotte, Wilbur’s discovery of how Charlotte survives impedes their new friendship, “Charlotte is fierce, brutal, scheming, bloodthirsty- everything I don’t like. How can I learn to like her, even though she is pretty and, of course, clever?” The friendship looked questionable. But White reassures us by saying “she has a kind heart, and she was to prove loyal to the very end.” The development of what seemed like an impossible relationship reveals and defines unconditional love.
Charlotte’s Web is a moving story about farm animals. Many writers use abstract and abstruse diction to interpret a particular idea but E. B. White is different. The language used, the style, and the plots in this book are very humorous that I find it so impressive. The author, E. B. White, excels in creating animal characters that can talk and feel normally like humans as a simple farm was depicted as a lively family. Wilbur, the protagonist, is a runt among a litter of pigs. He would be slaughtered if Fern, the farmer’s daughter, didn’t stop his father from killing the pig. Another word ‘HUMBLE’ is woven by her, which keeps on attracting people at the fair. At last, Wilbur wins the special prize for ‘the most terrific, radiant and humble pig that has fascinated many visitors to the great County Fair’. This is the greatest moment in both the lives of Wilbur and Charlotte. From then on, Wilbur is cleared of being killed, and instead, he receives a most comfortable life.
However, good times don’t last long for Charlotte, as she becomes feebler and feebler and she dies soon after Wilbur’s triumph, leaving an egg sac that carries all her eggs. Eventually, Wilbur, being the best friend, brings the egg sac home for Charlotte’s sake and he is glad to see her next generation later in spring. You may find it ridiculous to come across such an unusual friendship – a friendship between a spider and a pig. They belong to two animal species that are worlds apart. Spiders are cold-blooded and always occupy dark corners, capturing insects; while pigs are mammals that are used to living under the warm sunlight and hoping to be fed. See the difference? However, this story conveys to us a message that a sincere friendship will not be wavered by external factors such as nationalities, religions and family backgrounds. Charlotte and Wilbur are good examples.
Charlotte’s Web is a book written by the author White E.B. and was initially printed in 1952. It is demonstrated by Garth Williams. This book begins when John Arable’s sow gives birth to several piglets. Mr. Arable finds out that one of them is a runt and makes the decision of killing it. The piglet’s name is Wilbur. The book gives a story of a spider by the name Charlotte and her acquaintance with Wilbur, the piglet. The story rotates around Wilbur’s rescue from being killed for food by Charlotte and is regarded as the best of children’s writing. Charlotte’s web contains some fascinating characters playing different roles for different purposes. This paper will focus on two characters in the story, that is, Wilbur and Charlotte A. Cavatica. It will determine their overall purpose in the story, their impact on the themes, and any development that takes place in these two characters over the course of the narrative. Wilbur loves life though he at times feels abandoned and fearful. Charlotte A. Cavatica, on the other hand, initially appears bloodthirsty due to her way of obtaining food.
Development of Wilbur. Wilbur is the favorite piglet of Fern Arable, a young girl. He is to be killed by John, Fern’s father, on the morning after his birth. This is because Wilbur is a runt in John’s litter of eleven piglets. He is extremely small in size at the time of his birth. Fern persuades her father to permit her to take care of Wilbur for a period of six weeks. Wilbur survives and grows into a mature pig. Fern is now obliged to take Wilbur to the Zuckerman’s homestead, where he is to be prepared for a feast. Seclusion looms around Wilbur’s life and Wilbur’s hope shrinks. In the process of losing hope, Wilbur is noticed by a remarkably expressive spider, Charlotte A. Cavatica. Charlotte’s voice surfaces from the shadows asking Wilbur whether he wants a friend. The author of this novel refers to this as a story of friendship and rescue on the farm. Wilbur accepts this friendship and becomes the best friend of Charlotte’s.
Wilbur’s character changes throughout the story. This is seen in the fact that he changes from a minute weak and helpless piglet that is reliant on the assistance and protection of others. He grows from this to a mature character capable of taking on the accountability to protect others. This is seen where he pays Charlotte back for her assistance by looking after her children. Development of Charlotte A. Cavatica. Charlotte A. Cavatica is a spider. She inhabits the space immediately on top of Wilbur’s pen in the Zuckerman’s shed. She makes friends with Wilbur and chose’s to protect him from being killed for food. With assistance from the other animals in the shed, Charlotte assures the Zuckerman family that Wilbur is an exceptional animal. He does this by describing Wilbur as some pig in her web and interpreting its meaning. It is, therefore, evident that Charlotte’s character does not change throughout the story. She is depicted as intelligent, resourceful, and sympathetic from the beginning of the story to the end.
Wilbur’s purpose and his impact on the themes of the book. Wilbur is the main character in this book. It is his needs and wants that endow the story with a context. Without him, there would be no story. He portrays the theme of friendship by looking after Charlotte’s children after she passes. In this way, Wilbur portrays true friendship. He plays the role of showing people that death is not the most terrible outcome in life compared to living without friends. Charlotte’s life is made rich she reaches out to help her friend Wilbur. This is seen when Wilbur eventually helps her children to grow under proper care. He, therefore, portrays concern and compassion as friendship qualities. The story quotes that Wilbur never overlooked Charlotte. Chapter 3 of the book quotes: “Wilbur never forgot Charlotte. Although he loved her children and grandchildren dearly, none of the new spiders ever quite took her place in his heart. She was in a class by herself. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both” (White et al. 3).
Wilbur also portrays the theme of farm life. He is going to be killed simply because he is a rant. By using Wilbur, E.B.White shows that farm animals are brought up for food and other products. The fact that Wilbur goes for fairs also shows that many farmers keep animals and display them at county exhibitions. Wilbur and the other animals in the play are exemplified throughout the amusing, touching, and appealing barnyard setting of the novel. Wilbur contributes to the theme of the natural cycle of life and death. In this story, it is a customary practice to slay pigs for Christmas dinner. Wilbur is frightened about the end of the period. This is because he is aware that some time will come, where he will be finished up as dinner. He creates a plan with Charlotte to make sure that this will never occur. Through much of the story, Wilbur struggles with the menace of slaughter.
Charlotte’s purpose and her impact on the themes of the book. Charlotte’s key purpose in the story is to save and shield Wilbur from being slaughtered. He takes care of Wilbur throughout the story. Charlotte A. Cavatica plays a role in enhancing the theme of friendship in this novel. She works hard to rescue Wilbur’s life. She even procures new terms for her web to depict Wilbur. For instance, when Wilbur is at risk of being butchered by the Zuckerman farmer, Charlotte composes messages applauding Wilbur. He pleads with Zuckerman to let Wilbur free. Charlotte quotes “We do not want Zuckerman to think Wilbur is crunchy. He might start thinking about bacon. No, we must advertise Wilbur’s noble qualities, not his tastiness” (White et al. 2). At the beginning of the novel, Charlotte approaches Wilbur when he is disappointed.
She, however, does not ask anything from Wilbur but merely helps him because he is her friend. In this case, Charlotte shows that she is a true friend of Wilbur. This proves that having a friend may make someone’s ordinary way of living special. Friendship in this book is depicted as a matter of listening, acting in response, encouraging, and offering assistance while staying true to oneself. For instance, Charlotte did not stop feeding on flies though her friend Wilbur took it as disgusting. She explained to Wilbur that it was part of her nature and the nature of spiders in general. Charlotte explains the importance of being Wilbur’s friend and quotes: “you have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you.
After all, what’s life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, and we die. A spider’s life can not help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that” (White et al. 5). Charlotte develops the theme of loyalty in the novel. She struggles to save Wilbur from murder because she cares for him. Even when she is worn out and nearing the termination of her life, she is still contemplating helping Wilbur. Conclusion. The two characters focused in this paper include Wilbur and Charlotte A. Cavatica. Wilbur is the protagonist of this book. It is his needs and wants that endow the story with a context. Without him, there would be no story.
White’s, Charlottes Web, children are given the opportunity to learn about several life lessons. The book teaches a moral lesson, teaches of an animal’s habits, and allows young readers to identify with humanized animals, all of which have deeper meanings. Children get to learn all of this while looking into the world of Wilbur and his barnyard buddies. Charlotte’s Web is full of little life lessons. However, they are never just stated, rather hidden within other things; readers must look past the animals’ actions to see a deeper meaning and moral. One of the lessons that are taught revolves around Templeton, the rat. Throughout the book, he is a greedy self-seeker who does not help anyone unless there is something in it for him. The rest of the barnyard animals work together as a family, a community, but Templeton does not belong. “The rat had no morals, no conscience, no scruples, no consideration, no decency, no milk of rodent kindness, no compunctions, no higher feeling, no friendliness, no anything” (White 46).
A child reading the story could identify with the animals and their feelings and actions and see that Templeton is not a good citizen. IN order for one to be part of a family or community everyone must work together and help out others when needed. Although it is not laid out for the child, the message is clear; being selfish is a bad thing. Another significant lesson that this book teaches is that friendship is one of the most important aspects of life. The friendship that is illustrated between Wilbur and Charlotte is shown as being exceptionally strong and meant a tremendous amount to the little pig. White portrays the beginning of the friendship to be filled with some doubt on Wilbur’s part, because of Charlotte’s “bloodthirsty” ways. However, White explains shortly after that “Wilbur was merely suffering the doubts and fears that often go with finding a new friend.
Charlotte’s Web is a magnificent children’s novel written by an American author E.B.White about a friendship between a spider and a pig. This story then became very famous and won several awards so it is decided that to produce a film based on Charlotte’s Web story. Although the film and the book had a similar storyline, it still got some minor differences among them that may change the excitement of the story. First of all, the difference between the book and the film is that in the book, a girl called Fern, who saved a runty pig named Wilbur from her father who was trying to use an ax to kill him, got to school and thought of him all day long.
However, in the film, Fern brought Wilbur to school and got in trouble by Wilbur knocking off her table which was causing chaos. This made it more exciting rather than just sitting down and thinking of Wilbur. Moreover, in the film, there are two crows wanting to eat Templeton, an uncooperative rat. Whereas the book did not have two crows chasing Templeton. The chase was very funny. This made the film more interesting and more hilarious and would make the audience like this movie more. Furthermore, in the book, the horse is not mentioned to be afraid of Charlotte. Yet in the film, the horse was really scared of Charlotte.
Whenever he saw Charlotte, he ran around in circles crazily, faint, cry, or even panic. This will make the audience clearly remember this character or even make some children laugh. Last but not least, in the book, there is no smokehouse in Zuckerman’s barn. On the other hand, in the film, there is a smokehouse and Wilbur is very scared of it because it will turn him into smoke bacon and ham. This would grab the audiences’ attention. Therefore, from all the differences listed above, It is obvious that the film is better than the book because it is more attractive.
Example #8 – Didacticism and Teaching in Animal Literature and Charlotte’s Web
Since the birth of Aesop’s Fables, originating over two thousand years ago, “animal literature” has been used as a teaching tool. That is, when a certain piece of literature centers on an animal, there is usually a certain moral, emotional, or ethical lesson to be learned. The method varies, as sometimes the animal exists realistically and other times the animal is anthropomorphic and teaches directly through words. Using animals as a teaching tool is necessary for many regards because they act as symbols and totems for our real-life morals and teach these in such a way that human characters could not.
In Charlotte’s Web, the titular Charlotte is a spider who uses her worldly knowledge to help Wilbur the pig through his life (and at times, save it). Her position as a motherly, knowledgeable figure is unlike many other animal stories, though – she does not teach through her experiences in the novel but rather directly through words. She already has the knowledge necessary to aide Wilbur and speak of the complexities of life. She acts as his first real companion and teaches him about life and the nature of spiders, as only a spider could do, in addition to establishing her credibility and intelligence. She says, “I have to say what is true. I am not entirely happy about my diet of flies and bugs, but it’s the way I’m made…
Way back for thousands and thousands of years we spiders have been laying for flies and bugs” (White 39). Her use of “we” to refer to the family of spiders indicates the close relationship she has with her own kind. This establishes Charlotte as a trustworthy teacher and member of the spider species, especially since the first thing she says is “I have to say what is true,” telling us directly that what she says is believable. Charlotte’s position as a trustworthy and friendly character is a necessary framework for her teachings later, as we now know that her philosophical statements later are founded on an intelligent background. A reader, particularly a younger one in the target audience for this novel, would likely be impressed at the cleverness Charlotte exhibits given her living habits and would be interested in her ideas later on.
Charlotte also asserts her intelligence in saying “I live by my wits. I have to be sharp and clever, lest I go hungry” (40). We learn that through her very nature, Charlotte is a witty character able to make claims that we can believe or at least consider to be true. Her ensuing explanation of how her eating habits help save the world around her from being infested with bugs (40) as well as her later mention of activities at the Queensborough Bridge (60) reinforce that Charlotte has a strong worldly background and knowledge that extends far beyond the limited realm of the barn in which she lives.
When Wilbur that he is to be killed for Christmas meat, the ensuing panic leads him to call his only close friend for help. It is not possible for a human to stand in for an animal in this position, of course; only an animal can help him since the humans (the enemy to him at this point) are in it together to have him eaten. Only Fern, the girl, maybe considered an ally, yet she transcends the human group because she can talk to the animals, and thus from the beginning is the only human that does not side with their reasoning or desires. For the second time in the novel, now, Wilbur must be saved. Both times, he is saved by a transcendent figure: Fern, the girl who can talk to animals, and now Charlotte, the animal who can communicate with humans through web writing (80).
The animals’ discussions parallel human concerns and desires, so when Charlotte speaks to Wilbur about something, the reader can understand it as the solution to the problems humans pose to animals, and thus, the solution in how to act with them. She says later of Templeton’s possible unwillingness to help in saving Wilbur, “I’m not sure Templeton will be willing to help. You know how he is— always looking out for himself, never thinking of the other fellow” (89). In saying this Charlotte has acknowledged multiple things at once. For one, she alludes to her own altruism in helping Wilbur, that is, “thinking of the other fellow,” but also to Templeton the rat who has not done so. She criticizes people here who do not consider the wants of “the other fellow” (animals) and act selfishly.
She further criticizes humans in other areas, such as arguing against the nature of their fast-paced busy lives (60). Again, a reader may be inclined to see Charlotte’s views on people as a reflection of someone who has experienced it that way: someone who lives day in and day out in a rush, or with folks who are inconsiderate, would certainly have a more informed opinion on these matters. A spider, who lives calmly and outside of the bustling human life, offers a view outside the realm of human existence that allows us to reflect on ourselves and question our own lives. Charlotte’s commentary could only be done by a country animal outside of the busy and inconsiderate humans’ lives.
In addition, Charlotte has firm opinions on the concepts of life and death. Her opinions are quite philosophical; at one point she says “after all, what’s life anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that” (164). Charlotte’s vast knowledge and clever wit are less significant than the friendship she has with a pig. Charlotte is saying that companionship and friendship are the most important things to cherish in lieu of intelligence or other endeavors. As an animal with a short life and repetitive lifestyle, the friendship she has with Wilbur is the most important thing to her.
So, in our short lives (according to Charlotte, the length of any life is just “a little”) it is most important to find friends to spend the life we have with. Wilbur then takes this advice and quickly befriends three of Charlotte’s daughters after she has died (182). Although it may seem counterintuitive to trust a spider’s advice on providing answers to deep questions like “What is most important in my life?” is actually in this case makes sense. Charlotte’s realm of experience is huge, somehow, yet her existence is short and limited only to the barn in which she lives. For many of us, we have a breadth of knowledge that expands far beyond where we live, yet we do not have a chance to experience the entirety of that knowledge. Charlotte says, “do you know how long it took men to build [the Queensborough Bridge]? Eight whole years. My goodness, I would have starved to death waiting that long” (60).
She goes on to discuss her own lifestyle and her content nature is not going out to explore everything, giving her more time to think and reflect on life. Perhaps Charlotte is not advocating that everyone do the same, but that they consider taking a moment to “take in” life. So, why Charlotte? Why use any animal as a teacher of morals? Marianne Dekoven’s “Why Animals Now?” mentions that “only from the point of view of the human are other animals nonhuman” (Dekoven 363). This describes the character of Fern quite well, as she can act as both the human and animal, able to speak with both. She can see animals like humans and through the eyes of Fern (a child), we see Charlotte and the other characters as possessing human consciousness. Dekoven goes on to mention a “massive interdependence between humans and other animals” (366) which implies our own need for animals both practically and as a tool to understand ourselves.
These animals can be used, she argues, more specifically for political intentions or otherwise (366-7) although it is more apparent in works like White’s that animals play a more metaphorical or otherwise symbolic role that could not be fulfilled by humans, or is more aptly fulfilled by a fitting animal. Additional studies have discussed animal fables more specifically, including Aesop’s short moralistic stories. Although longer novels and stories can serve a similar function, Jill Mann writes in her book From Aesop to Reynard that there is “an overlap of the human and the animal world; the animals are seen as having human characteristics although they lack a human complexity” (Mann 30). This view is not applicable to Charlotte’s Web, where the animals certainly have both human complexity and relationships. Thus Mann may not classify this book as a fable, but rather an extended allegory for life.
The animal character of Charlotte is not the same as the animals in fables, who exist possess no context, being only what they are outlined as their animal characters define them. Charlotte does not conform to a pre-existing “spider” outline; she fills another role entirely, using real spider characteristics (web-weaving, bug-catching, etc.) to defend the character traits she creates for herself. This bolsters her teachings and lessons more because she has created a believable, deep character for herself that escapes the flatness of the common fables. In both cases, the didactic element is present, but rather than relying on what Mann calls an “essential character,” (31) White creates a new set of “characters” for us to experience as readers, creating a more meaningful relationship that does not rely on previous foundations or assumptions. Thus within the realm of Charlotte’s Web, we only need to be self-referential, as Charlotte provides all the necessary evidence we need to believe she possesses the ethos to make the claims and convey the messages she does for us.
While Charlotte’s Web may teach in a way unlike animal fables traditionally do, it is specifically the character of Charlotte as a humanlike animal that teaches the lessons a human could not. Her traits and breadth of experience give us reason to accept her teachings, which make sense in the context of the novel. Her reason and wit allow us to believe her. In the greater context of animal fiction, it is not presupposed assumptions that we must rely on, as Mann argues, but rather a relationship that is meaningfully established and defended. Dekoven’s commentary on how animals, especially in fiction, have developed a dependent relationship with humans refers back to this. We understand animals, those who are anthropomorphic, as an extension of the human world. So when the animals in Charlotte’s Web specifically teach us something, we can accept it because they as symbols, and not true animals, reflect ideas and morals we understand more effectively.
Example #9 – interesting ideas
Short summary of the book charlottes web?
Answer. Summary: Charlotte’s Web opens the door to a magical world, which a young girl named Fern finds herself a part of. Fern spends her free time with Wilbur the pig whom she loves and the other barn animals who play a large part in the life of Wilbur. Charlotte A. Cavatica, the large grey spider, befriends Wilbur and helps him deal with the shocking news that his life will end as bacon on someone’s plate. Charlotte goes as far as coming up with an interesting plan that only this spider could carry out with the help of Templeton the rat (who never does anything unless there is something in it for himself) to help Wilbur escape death.
Strong points: Charlotte responds to Wilbur’s need for a friend and dedicates herself to saving his life through the ingenious ploy of spinning words in her web. “You have been my friend…That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all the trapping and catching flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.” Charlotte is wiser than Wilbur so she cares for him with something that resembles maternal love.
She tells Wilbur bedtime stores and sings him lullabies, teaches him manners, tells him to chew his “food thoroughly and eat every bit of it”, encourages him when he is down, and builds up his confidence for the day when he must stand on his own four feet without the benefit of her care. Charlotte gives constant thought to how she will fulfill her promise to save Wilbur’s life. “Day after day the spider waited, head-down, for an idea to come to her. …Charlotte was naturally patient”. And like a wise teacher Charlotte gives her pupil as much as he can absorb and not more. She guides him to the point when he must take possession of himself and make independent decisions. Conclusion: This book is especially good for first-time readers who have taken the big jump from short stories to a real novel. It is easy reading and the talking animals captivate young children.
Moral of charlottes web? What’s the lesson a child would get out of it?
Answer. In Charlotte’s Web, the power of love and creativity is contrasted with material success and status. A runt pig (who promises nothing when it is born) becomes the object of fame and success essentially because of the love bestowed on him by Fern and Charlotte. Although the humans in the novel think they have been blessed with an extraordinary pig, what they witness is extraordinary love between Charlotte and Wilbur, and that itself is the miracle of the story.
What is Charlotte’s Web this story’s theme? I am not sure Please tell me “more” about it thx
Answer. Friendship and Loyalty. The first example of friendship that White provides in Charlotte’s Web is that of Wilbur and Fern. Though this is actually more of a mother-child relationship, Fern still shows a great deal of loyalty to Wilbur through most of the book. This relationship parallels that of Wilbur and Charlotte, in some ways, mainly in the fact that Charlotte is quite motherly towards Wilbur at times.
Where Charlotte and Wilbur’s friendship surpasses that of the one between Fern and Wilbur is in its staying power. Fern, by the end of the book, has seemingly lost interest in Wilbur, choosing to focus her attentions on a boy. Charlotte, on the other hand, is loyal to the end, even working to save Wilbur’s life to the detriment of her own. She is also always there to give.
How do you make an essay not sound like a book report? I’m writing an essay on a book I read, and I was wondering if anyone had any tips so it doesn’t sound like a book report. Thanks!
Answer. Pick a theme to discuss or prove as you talk about it. Introduce it at the beginning. (It’s called a thesis.) For example, Charlotte’s Web shows the power of sacrifice. Then, throughout your essay, you explore examples of different characters sacrificing themselves (of course Charlotte). Then, you aren’t just reporting the facts, you’re actually pulling some meaning out of the book.
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