Charlotte’s Web is an example of one of the world’s renowned children’s books. The story about a little pig that was born a runt is one of the classics in children’s stories. The book has also been made into a movie. Mr. Arable decides to kill the pig who was born as a runt, and have him for dinner but his daughter begs him to let the little pig live. Wilbur, as he grew up, is sold to Uncle Zuckerman where he simply cannot find any friends. Everyone in Mr. Zuckerman’s farmhouse ignores him and Wilbur is left all alone. Wilbur, being afraid of the end of the season and the imminent danger it brings, plans with Charlotte who is a wise spider, on how he would never end up as dinner on Mr. Zuckerman’s house. This paper considers how this children’s story has used different stylistic tools to appeal to children on different themes and psychological grounds.
Rhyme and repetition are part of the author’s style in the book. With adequate descriptions given for almost everything, the author adequately puts across almost every aspect of the environment where Wilbur was found. For example, one could tell exactly how the barn felt and looked. The author makes use of vivid description tools that can take the imagination on overdrive. With this, comes a lot of repetition especially with regards to the tools that he describes before. A reminder of the surrounding in which Wibur and Charlotte are found is described almost always. Consider this repetitive description of the barn:
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It smelled of hay and it smelled of manure. It smelled of the perspiration of tired horses and the wonderful sweet breath of patient cows. It often had a sort of peaceful smell—as though nothing bad could happen ever again in the world. It smelled of grain and harness dressing and of axle grease and of rubber boots and of new rope. And whenever the cat was given a fish-head to eat, the barn would smell of fish." (3.1)
The word smell is repeated quite a number of times in just this one paragraph.
In a different instance, Wilbur also expresses himself as a child, in a way that children can easily relate with and understand: “Wilbur didn't want food, he wanted love. He wanted a friend—someone who would play with him. (4.22)”. there was also a lot of centration around Charlotte. Even from the story’s title, Charlotte’s outstanding feature is the fact that he was a good friend and had the ability to weave webs. This aspect of centration brings about his phenomenal feature as is expressed to the child readers. Furthermore, Wilbur’s most expressive feature is the fact that he wanted a friend and was friendly himself. Wilbur’s dedication to finding a friend eventually saved his life.
In an analysis of story elements regarding strong family and friendship ties, the friendship between Wibur and Charlotte is an example of this. Furthermore, Wilbur’s frustration about not being able to make friends, especially after being sold to Mr. Zuckerman is an embodiment of the importance of strong family ties. Mr. Arable’s daughter is Wilbur’s first true frined as she saved his life at the beginning of his life. In the course of Wilbur’s life, Charlotte helps him to esacpe his fearful fate of becoming dinner for his new owners at the end of the season. Additionally, the story also expresses the children’s fear of separation. From Wilbur’s experience, moving away from his old home to Mr. Zuckerman’s home was not such a good experience as he would get snubbed by every other animal in the farm. Children often fear the fact that moving away could cause social problems such as the inability to find and make new friends among others (Corriveau & Harris, 2015).
In conclusion, this story gives an account of a child’s psychological response to friendship, separation and love based on a children’s story. The story adequately points out how its language comes to the level of the child in explaining different phenomena that exists in everyday living.
Corriveau, K. H., & Harris, P. L. (2015). Children's developing realization that some stories are true: Links to the understanding of beliefs and signs. Cognitive Development, 34 , 76-87.
Dobrin, S. I., & Kidd, K. B. (2004). Wild things: Children's culture and ecocriticism. . Wayne State University Press.
Hickman, J. (1989). Children's literature in the classroom: Weaving Charlotte's web. . Christopher-Gordon Pub.
White, E. (1952). Charlotte's Web. Harper & Brothers.