Sometimes it's fun to be in the limelight. Wilbur sure does enjoy all the attention he gets when Charlotte weaves her first words into the web. For Wilbur, being the center of attention means getting extra slop, a nice warm bed, and oodles of admirers. But in Charlotte's Web admiration isn't just about fun and games. It's also a means of survival. If sweet little Wilbur gets positive attention, his owners will want him to live. Yippee! If not, then watch out because it's off to the butcher for this poor piggy. Those are some super high stakes: it's time for Wilbur to get famous, or die trying.
It's great to be in the spotlight. Wilbur gets tons of attention, and this is a good thing.
It's better to be on the sidelines. Charlotte stays out of the limelight, and that's the way it should be.
Are you looking for a wily little spider to manage your upcoming social media campaign? Well look no further than Ms. Charlotte A. Cavatica. She's got propaganda in the bag. This spider knows just how influential language can be. Whether the words are printed in a newspaper or a magazine advertisement or a spider's web, they can make a big impact. Plus, it's not every day you see words written inside a spider's web. The fact that most of the humans in Charlotte's Web have no idea how the words got into the web might just make the language even more powerful.
Language is persuasive, and this is good news. Charlotte's web convinces everyone that Wilbur is great and deserves to live.
Be careful with the words you use, because language can be dangerous. If Charlotte picks the wrong words (like "crunchy" or "tasty"), the consequences could be dire.
If there's one thing we know about Charlotte's Web it's this: Charlotte and Wilbur are good friends. Actually, it might be tough for you to find a better pair of chums out there. For Charlotte and Wilbur, friendship means being loyal to one another and sometimes even making sacrifices. But even Wilbur and Charlotte have their tiffs. Sometimes Charlotte isn't patient enough, and sometimes Wilbur can be a little self-involved. But in the end, these buddies watch out for each other when it really counts. They remind us that friendship is super duper important. In fact, it might even last after Charlotte is gone.
Friends are necessary for survival. Without friends, Wilbur would have been killed, so it's a good thing he's got some good buds in his corner.
Friends are nice, but Charlotte can also cut it on her own. Charlotte's Web argues that her independence is a good thing.
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?
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.
For a pig, Wilbur experiences quite a few "homes" over time. Check them out:
(1) The Arable home. His first place!
(2) The Zuckerman barn.
(3) The pigpen at the County Fair, for a little while.
(4) The Zuckerman barn again.
But what makes each of these homes a true home? Some of these digs are temporary, and some are more permanent. But in each of them, Wilbur finds something or someone to make him feel at home. Whether it's Fern or Charlotte or a familiar smell, Wilbur finds a way to have that homey feel. In Charlotte's Web, home is more about the friends you have than the place you're sleeping. (Of course, having a warm manure pile doesn't hurt.)
The novel argues that a "home" is a physical place. For Wilbur, home is the Zuckerman barn and always will be.
The novel argues that a "home" is a feeling you get. For Wilbur, home is with his friends, no matter where they are.
The saying goes like this: if at first you don't succeed, try try again. In Charlotte's Web we've got a lot of characters who try really hard, even when times are tough. Actually, these characters try hard especially when times are tough. For Wilbur and his friends, hard work pays off. After all, Charlotte works hard on her web and she saves Wilbur's life. Perseverance definitely has its plus sides. But this has us wondering: are there any downsides to working so hard?
No matter what, you can build your own success. Wilbur tries hard and eventually he succeeds.
No matter what, failure is part of life. Charlotte has successes, but she doesn't live to see all of them through.
Were you as sad as we were when Charlotte died? And were you as shocked as we were to learn that Wilbur might end up as Christmas dinner? There sure is a lot talk about death in this book. For Wilbur and his friends, there are two ways to respond to their finite lifetimes:
(1) Fight the good fight.
(2) Accept your fate.
In the end, Charlotte's Web reminds us that death is part of life. Sure, it's scary. But maybe knowing that life doesn't last forever has its benefits, too.
You can't avoid death. The best thing for all the characters is to accept the fact that they'll eventually die, and give in.
No matter what, people (and animals) must try to survive. The novel argues that the characters should fight against death at any cost.
In Charlotte's Web, we've got two different types of characters who grow up: kids and animals. And growing up isn't necessarily an easy feat. For an animal like Wilbur, growing up means gaining new friends and learning to stand on his own four feet. That's got to be a tough challenge. For a little girl like Fern, growing up means spending less time with Wilbur and more time with boys. That sounds like some tough stuff too. One thing is for sure: for all of our characters, growing up definitely has its ups and downs. But Charlotte's Web reminds us that everyone grows up, whether or not they want to.
You never really leave your childhood behind. Even if Fern grows up, she'll always be the same girl who saved Wilbur's life.
Eventually, everyone grows up and moves on. It's good that Fern grows out of her animal phase and starts acting her own age.