How we cite our quotes:
"It's amazing how children change from year to year." (14.53)
In Charlotte's Web, it's not just the seasons that change over time but the people too. Dr. Dorian seems pretty stoked about how children are always changing. But are there any downsides to these continuous changes?
The crickets sang in the grasses. They sang the song of summer's ending, a sad, monotonous song. "Summer is over and gone," they sang. "Over and gone, over and gone. Summer is dying, dying."
The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last forever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year—the days when summer is changing into fall—the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change. (15.1-2)
These crickets sound like pretty depressing creatures. Sometimes in Charlotte's Web, changing seasons seems like a good thing. But here, seasonal change sounds like bad news. What do you make of the idea that summer is "dying"? We're thinking that's a pretty morbid way to talk about changing seasons.
"Charlotte," said Wilbur dreamily, "are you really going to have five hundred and fourteen children?"
"If nothing happens, yes," she said. "Of course, they won't show up till next spring." Wilbur noticed that Charlotte's voice sounded sad. (19.16-17)
Like the goslings, Charlotte's little spider babies will hatch at a certain time of year. Having to wait so long for the eggs to hatch means Charlotte won't get to meet her kiddos. Sounds to us like Charlotte is bummed about how the egg-hatching season works—but there's nothing to do about it. That's just the way the world works.