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Charlotte's Web

Charlotte's Web


by E. B. White

Charlotte's Web Coming of Age Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

"Please don't kill it!" she sobbed. "It's unfair."

Mr. Arable stopped walking.

"Fern," he said gently, "you will have to learn to control yourself." (1.8-10)

Fern makes a huge fuss when her dad decides to kill a newborn pig. But according to her papa, over time Fern will need to learn some self-control. Do you think Fern learns to control herself as the novel goes on? Or is this something she doesn't grow out of? (And check out that Charlotte says the same thing to Wilbur, later on.)

Quote #2

If she took her doll for a walk in the doll carriage, Wilbur followed along. Sometimes, on these journeys, Wilbur would get tired, and Fern would pick him up and put him in the carriage alongside the doll. He liked this. And if he was very tired, he would close his eyes and go to sleep under the doll's blanket. He looked cute when his eyes were closed, because his lashes were so long. The doll would close her eyes, too, and Fern would wheel the carriage very slowly and smoothly so as not to wake her infants. (2.6)

Fern sure is a great mama to her baby doll and her baby pig. We think this comparison between Wilbur and a doll is super interesting. It makes him sound like a baby, which he kind of is. But it also makes him sound like a toy.

Quote #3

"How?" asked Wilbur.

"That remains to be seen. But I am going to save you, and I want you to quiet down immediately. You're carrying on in a childish way. Stop your crying! I can't stand hysterics." (7.22-26)

Charlotte thinks Wilbur is acting pretty immaturely. Of course, he did just find out that he'll probably be killed and turned into bacon and ham, so maybe she should cut him some slack. Do you agree with Charlotte's annoyance? Is Wilbur is acting "childish" here?

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