Innocence In Charlotte's Web By E. B. White

1781 Words8 Pages
The beautifully written children novel, “Charlottes Web” by E.B. White and illustrated by Garth Williams, depicts the story of a little girl named Fern who saves a piglet from an untimely death. Fern loves and cares for the piglet, naming him Wilbur. Wilbur soon becomes to big to live at Fern’s home and is sent to her Uncle Zuckerman’s barn. Wilbur craves companionship and soon befriends a barn spider named Charlotte. When Wilbur finds out that he is in danger of being slaughtered by Mr. Zuckerman he pleads for help. Charlotte hears his cries and takes on the challenge, promising to save Wilbur’s life. With the help of a rat named Templeton, Charlotte begins to write messages praising Wilbur in her Web in order to persuade Mr. Zuckerman to…show more content…
White demonstrates anthropomorphism through the use of dialogue to portray Wilbur’s interdependent and interconnected relationships amongst the animals living in the barn. The novel centres around the main character Wilbur- a pig who is born a runt of the litter. He was to be slaughtered until Fern, Mr. Arables daughter, jumped in to save the piglet from an untimely death. Persuaded by Ferns attempt to “rid the world of injustice”(5) Wilbur’s life is sparred. Wilbur is loved and cared for by Fern until he becomes too big to live at home and is then sent to her uncle Zuckerman’s barn. Wilbur is a loving, sensitive and kind pig, although he can be naive at times. As days passed, Wilbur grew bigger and bigger gaining lot of weight, the sheep asked Wilbur, “You know why they're fattening you up don’t you?” Wilbur was naive, “no” he replied, “they’re fattening you up because they are going to kill you thats why!” replied the sheep (49). When Wilbur finds out that Mr. Zuckerman plans on killing him in the winter, he begins to panic, concerned for his life. He desperately pleads for help begging anyone to save him, “You shall not die,” said Charlotte, briskly. “Who’s going to save me?” cried Wilbur. “I am” said Charlotte. “How?” asked Wilbur. “That remains to be seen. But I am going to save you and i want you to quiet down immediately. You’re carrying on in a childish way. Stop crying! I can’t stand hysterics” (51). White’s, use of dialogue…show more content…
White initially illustrates Templeton as a mean, selfish and crafty rat who only cares for himself. E.B. Whites portrayal of Templeton from his fellow barn animals perspective, further emphasizes their distrust in Templeton. “The rat had no morals, no conscience, no scruples, no consideration, no decency no milk or rodent kindness, no compunctions, no higher feeling, no friendliness, no anything. He would kill a gosling if he could get away with it- the goose knew that. Everybody knew that" (46). Templeton picks on Wilbur’s fear of being slaughtered and threatens that Wilbur will soon become a meal, “You might as well relax-nobody is going to hang any medal on you. Furthermore, I wouldn't be surprised if Zuckerman changes his mind about you. Wait till he gets hankering for some fresh pork and smoked ham and crisped bacon! He'll take the knife to you my boy!" (148). As the story progresses, Templeton soon realizes that if Wilbur dies he will die, and therefore reluctantly agrees to help Wilbur and Charlotte but only because it serves himself a purpose. "Let him die," said the rat. "I should worry." (…) "You'll worry all right on a zero morning next January when Wilbur is dead and nobody comes down here with a nice pail of warm slopes to pour into the trough. Wilbur's left over food is your chief source of supply, Templeton. "Wilbur food is your food; therefore Wilbur's destiny and your destiny are closely linked. If Wilbur is killed

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