Study Guide

Charlotte's Web Plot Analysis

By E. B. White

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Plot Analysis


A Sweet Life on the Farm

Wilbur is the runt of the litter, but Fern thinks he's still an awesome pig so she saves his life. The Zuckermans think Wilbur is pretty swell too, so they buy the little guy and take care of him. For this pig, life is looking good.

Rising Action

Don't Bring Home the Bacon!

Things are chugging along smoothly until Wilbur learns that Mr. Zuckerman will probably turn him into bacon and ham. Yikes! Wilbur is super upset about this news, and so are we. We don't want to lose this little guy, so the conflict is: how is Wilbur going to escape this dire fate? And who is going to help him do it? Yep, it's Charlotte and her web.


And the Winner is…Wilbur!

After all of Charlotte's hard work and Wilbur's eyelash-batting, he wins a special prize at the county fair. His life is saved! Hip hip hooray! The whole novel has been building to this one big victory.

Falling Action

Getting Sick and Heading Home

Charlotte has been feeling ill for awhile, and now it's really starting to weigh on her. So at the fairgrounds she makes her last "masterpiece": an egg sac full of soon-to-be spiders. She knows she'll never see them hatch, so Wilbur takes over to make sure the eggs are safe. Charlotte's impending death lets us know that things are starting to wrap up in this tale.


Lots of BFFs Forever

Charlotte dies, which is super sad. But her children and grandchildren provide perpetual friends for Wilbur. So now he gets to live instead of being turned into bacon, and he gets lots of new chums every year. Once again, life is looking good for this little pig.

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