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“Charlotte’s Web” by E. B. White: Analysis

Charlotte’s Web is a novel by American author E. B. White. It was first published in 1952 and is intended for children. The story of the novel revolves around the friendship of a livestock pig named Wilbur and a spider named Charlotte. The book is considered to be one of the most popular classics in children’s literature. The main themes of the novel include death, change, and innocence.

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The theme of mortality is prevalent in the novel; hence, it best fits children of age 7-11 also known as the concrete operational stage of cognitive development. Children take a more logical and methodical approach to reality in this period of their development, seeing themselves as a part of society rather than relying on the egocentricity of preoperational stage. The novel teaches them that death is an inevitable outcome of every person’s lifespan by portraying multiple attitudes in different characters. Wilbur is rightfully afraid of violent death, Charlotte sees her death of natural causes as inevitable, and Templeton takes the most pragmatic approach to it, thinking that it will eventually happen at some point. The novel’s moral highlights the importance of other people’s lives and the significance of actions that attempt to prevent death.

The theme of change is seen in the development of two characters: Wilbur and Fern Arable. Two protagonists grow distantly from each other, focusing their attention on solving urgent issues. Their priorities and views change drastically by the end of the novel. It is recommended for children on the Industry-Inferiority stage of socio-emotional development that takes place in roughly the same time interval as the concrete operational stage. The young generation learns that with adolescence, their views and priorities will inevitably change.

The theme of innocence serves as a logical conclusion of the novel. Both characters adapt to new circumstances and learn to accept the reality of life. Fern leaves her childhood naivety behind and acquires a mindset of a young adult, while Wilbur learns to accept death as an inevitable conclusion to any being’s life cycle. Their development illustrates the gap between childhood and adulthood that diminishes throughout the novel. It highlights the significance of adaptation to new environments.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, February 9). “Charlotte’s Web” by E. B. White: Analysis. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/charlottes-web-by-e-b-white-analysis/

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StudyCorgi. "“Charlotte’s Web” by E. B. White: Analysis." February 9, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/charlottes-web-by-e-b-white-analysis/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "“Charlotte’s Web” by E. B. White: Analysis." February 9, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/charlottes-web-by-e-b-white-analysis/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) '“Charlotte’s Web” by E. B. White: Analysis'. 9 February.

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