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Charlotte's Web

Charlotte's Web

by E. B. White

Time Theme

On a farm, time is extra important. The Arables and the Zuckermans have to pay attention to those pesky changing seasons. There are certain farm tasks to be done in the spring when things are growing. And then there are different jobs for the fall, when it's time for the harvest or to prepare for winter. Sound like a lot of work? Yep, it sure is. On top of all that, changing seasons can be bad news for a pig like Wilbur. He needs to make sure he's not going to become food during the winter. You might say that time isn't always on Wilbur's side. But we have to ask: in Charlotte's Web, is it on anyone's time?

Questions About Time

  1. What do you think of the way changing seasons are represented? Do the changes sound good or bad?
  2. In the novel, is there anything that stays the same over time?
  3. How do the adult characters change over time? And who do you think changes the most?
  4. Which animal characters do you think change over time? How so?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Over time, everything changes. Charlotte's Web argues that change is inevitable, so it's better to accept this fact and keep moving with the times.

Over time, the important stuff remains the same. Charlotte's Web argues that time never tarnishes the things that are truly significant in life.

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