by E. B. White
Charlotte's Web Language and Communication Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"But Charlotte," said Wilbur, "I'm not terrific."
"That doesn't make a particle of difference," replied Charlotte. "Not a particle. People believe almost anything they see in print. Does anybody here know how to spell 'terrific'?" (12.27-8)
Charlotte knows just how powerful writing can be. She knows that she needs to make people believe that Wilbur is terrific by using the right words. Do you think this makes Charlotte a liar? Or is she just really good at campaigning for her friend?
"And if Charlotte needs help in finding words, I think she can get it from our friend Templeton. The rat visits the dump regularly and has access to old magazines. He can tear out bits of advertisements and bring them up here to the barn cellar, so that Charlotte can have something to copy." (12.32)
The old sheep has a good idea: go to magazine advertisements to find slogans to put up in the web. This also makes it sound like the web is similar to an advertisement. What do you think of that comparison?
Everybody stood at the pigpen and stared at the web and read the word, over and over, while Wilbur, who really felt terrific, stood quietly swelling out his chest and swinging his snout from side to side.
"Terrific!" breathed Zuckerman, in joyful admiration. "Edith, you better phone the reporter on the Weekly Chronicle and tell him what has happened. He will want to know about this." (13.12-13)
Apparently Charlotte's propaganda is starting to work on Wilbur too. Remember how earlier Wilbur said he wasn't terrific? Well the sign seems to be changing his mind. The power of language is so strong that it can even change Wilbur's opinion of himself. And that's a huge deal.