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Charlotte's Web

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Charlotte's Web
Civer o the first edition
AuthorE. B. White
IllustratorGarth Williams
Cover airtistGarth Williams
KintraUnitit States
Genrechildren's novel, fairy tale Edit this on Wikidata
PublisherHarper & Brothers
Publication date1952 Edit this on Wikidata

Charlotte's Web is a bairns' novelle bi American author E. B. White an illustrated bi Garth Williams. It wis published on October 15, 1952, bi Harper & Brothers. The novelle tells the story o a livestock pig named Wilbur an his friendship wi a barn speeder named Charlotte. When Wilbur is in danger o bein slaughtered bi the farmer, Charlotte writes messages praisin Wilbur (sic as "Some Pig") in her web in order tae persuade the farmer tae let him live.

Written in White's dry, low-key manner, Charlotte's Web is considered a classic o bairns' literatur, enjoyable tae adults as well as bairns. The description o the experience o swingin on a rope swing at the farm is an aften cited example o rhythm in writing, as the pace o the sentences reflects the motion o the swing. In 2000, Publishers Weekly listed the beuk as the best-sellin bairns' paperback o aw time.[1]

Charlotte's Web wis adapted intae an animatit featur bi Hanna-Barbera Productions an Sagittarius Productions in 1973. Paramount released a direct-tae-video sequel, Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure, in the U.S. in 2003 (Universal released the film internationally). A live-action film version o E. B. White's original story wis released in 2006. A video game based on this adaption wis an aa released in 2006.

Plot summary[eedit | eedit soorce]

The beuk begins when John Arable's sow gives birth tae a litter o piglets, an Mr. Arable discovers ane o them is a runt an decides tae kill it. Houiver, his aicht year old daughter Fern begs him tae let it live. Therefore her father gives it tae Fern as a pet, an she names the piglet Wilbur. Wilbur is hyperactive an always exploring new things. He lives wi Fern for a few weeks an then is sold tae her uncle, Homer Zuckerman. Although Fern visits him at the Zuckermans' farm as aften as she can, her visits decrease as she grows older, an Wilbur gets lonelier day after day. Eventually, a warm an soothin voice tells him that she is going tae be his friend. The next day, he wakes up an meets his new friend: Charlotte, the grey speeder.

Wilbur soon becomes a member o the community o animals that live in the cellar o Zuckerman's barn. When the old sheep in the barn cellar tells Wilbur that he is going tae be killed an eaten at Christmas, he turns tae Charlotte for help. Charlotte has the idea o writin words in her web extollin Wilbur's excellence ("some pig," "terrific," "radiant," an eventually "humble"), reasoning that if she can make Wilbur sufficiently famous, he will not be killed. Thanks tae Charlotte's efforts, an wi the assistance o the gluttonous rat Templeton, Wilbur not only lifes, but goes tae the county fair wi Charlotte an wins a prize. Havin reached the end of her natural lifespan, Charlotte dies at the fair. Wilbur repays Charlotte bi bringing home wi him the sac o eggs (her "magnum opus") she had laid at the fair before dying. When Charlotte's eggs hatch at Zuckerman's farm, most o them leave tae make their own lifes elsewhere, except for three: Joy, Aranea, an Nellie, who remain there as friends tae Wilbur; but none o them can replace Charlotte.

Chairacters[eedit | eedit soorce]

  • Wilbur is a rambunctious pig, the runt o his litter. He is aften strongly emotional.
  • Charlotte A. Cavatica, or simply Charlotte, is a speeder that befriends Wilbur. In some passages, she is the heroine o the story.[2]
  • John Arable is Wilbur's first owner.
  • Fern Arable is John's daughter, who adopts Wilbur when he is a piglet, an later visits him. She is the only human in the story capable o understanding animal conversation.
  • Templeton is a rat that helps Charlotte an Wilbur only when offered food. He serves as a somewhat caustic, self-serving comic relief tae the plot.
  • Avery Arable is the elder brother o Fern an John's son. Like Templeton, he is a source o comic relief.
  • Homer Zuckerman is Fern's uncle who keeps Wilbur in his barn. He has a wife, Edith, an an assistant named Lurvy.
  • Other animals in Zuckerman's barn, wi whom Wilbur converses, are a disdainful lamb, a talkative goose, an an intelligent "old sheep".
  • Henry Fussy is a boy o Fern's age, o whom Fern becomes fond.
  • Dr. Dorian is the family physician/psychologist consulted bi Fern's mother an somethin o a wise old man chairacter.
  • Uncle is a large pig that Charlotte disdains for coarse manners. He is Wilbur's rival at the fair.
  • Charlotte's children are the 514 children o Charlotte. Although they were born at the barn, all but three o them go their own ways bi balloonin.

Themes[eedit | eedit soorce]

Death[eedit | eedit soorce]

Death is a major theme seen throughout Charlotte's Web an is brought forth bi that o the speeder, Charlotte's, web. Accordin tae Norton D. Kinghorn, Charlotte's web acts as a barrier that separates two worlds. These worlds are that o life an death.[3] Scholar Amy Ratelle says that through Charlotte's continual killin an eatin o flies throughout the novel, White makes the concept o death normal for Wilbur an for the readers.[4] Wilbur constantly has death on his mind at night when he is worryin over whether or not he will be made intae meat for humans tae consume, but as scholar Sophie Mills notes, Wilbur is able tae avoid death.[5] Even though Wilbur is able tae escape his death, Charlotte, the speeder that takes care of Wilbur, is not able tae escape her own death. Charlotte passes away, but accordin tae Trudelle H. Thomas, "Yet even in the face of death, life continues and ultimate goodness wins out".[6] Jordan Anne Deveraux explains that E. B. White discusses a few realities o death. From the novel, readers learn that death can be delayed, but it cannot be avoided forever.[7]

Change[eedit | eedit soorce]

For Norton D. Kinghorn, Charlotte's web also acts as a signifier o change. The change Kinghorn refers tae is that o both the human world an the farm/barn world. For both o these worlds change is somethin that cannot be avoided.[8] Along wi the changin o the saisons throughout the novel, the chairacters also go through their own changes. Jordan Anne Deveraux also explains that Wilbur an Fern each go through their changes tae transition from childhood closer tae adulthood throughout the novel.[9] This is evidenced bi Wilbur acceptin death an Fern givin up her dolls. Wilbur grows throughout the novel, allowin him tae become the caretaker o Charlotte's children just as she wis a caretaker for him, as is explained bi scholar Sue Misheff.[10] But rather than accept the changes that are forced upon them, according tae Sophie Mills, the chairacters aim tae go beyond the limits o change.[11] In a different way, Wilbur goes through a change when he switches locations. Amy Ratelle explains that when he moves from Fern's house tae Homer Zuckerman's farm, Wilbur goes from bein a loved pet tae a farm animal.

Innocence[eedit | eedit soorce]

Fern, the little girl in the novel, goes from bein a child tae being more o an adult. As she goes through this change, Kinghorn notes that it can also be considered a fall from innocence.[12] Wilbur also starts out young an innocent at the beginnin o the novel. A comparison is drawn between the innocence an youth o Fern an Wilbur. Sophie Mills states that the two chairacters can identify wi ane another.[13] Both Wilbur an Fern are, at first, horrified bi the realization that life must end; however, bi the end o the novel, both chairacters learn tae accept that everything must die.[14] Accordin tae Matthew Scully, the novel presents the difference in the worldview o adults versus the worldview o children. Children, sic as Fern, believe killin another for food is wrong, while adults have learned tae justify this action.[15]

History[eedit | eedit soorce]

Charlotte's Web wis published three years after White began writing it.[16] White's editor Ursula Nordstrom said that ane day in 1952, E. B. White arrived at her office an handed her a new manuscript, the only copy o Charlotte's Web then in existence, which she read soon after an enjoyed.[17]

Since White published Death of a Pig in 1948,[18] an account o his own failure tae save a sick pig (bought for butchering), Charlotte's Web can be seen as White's attempt "tae save his pig in retrospect".[19] White's overall motivation for the book has not been revealed an he has written: "I haven't told why I wrote the book, but I haven't told you why I sneeze, either. A book is a sneeze".[20]

When White met the speeder that originally inspired Charlotte, he called her Charlotte Epeira (after Epeira sclopetaria, the Grey Cross speeder, now known as Larinioides sclopetarius), before discoverin that the more modern name for that genus wis Aranea.[21] In the novel, Charlotte gives her full name as "Charlotte A. Cavatica", revealin her as a barn speeder, an orb-weaver wi the scientific name Araneus cavaticus.

The arachnid anatomical terms (mentioned in the beginning o chapter nine) an other information that White used, came mostly from American Spiders bi Willis J. Gertsch an The Spider Book bi John Henry Comstock, both o which combine a sense o poetry wi scientific fact.[22] White incorporated details from Comstock's accounts o baby speeders, most notably the "flight" o the young speeders on silken parachutes.[22] White sent Gertsch's book tae illustrator Garth Williams.[23] Williams' initial drawins depicted a speeder wi a woman's face, an White suggested that he simply draw a realistic speeder instead.[24]

White originally opened the novel wi an introduction o Wilbur an the barnyard (which later became the third chapter) but decided tae begin the novel bi introducin Fern an her family on the first page.[23] White's publishers were at ane point concerned wi the book's endin an tried tae get White tae change it.[25]

Charlotte's Web has become White's most famous book, but White treasured his privacy an that o the farmyard an barn that helped inspire the novel, which have been kept off limits tae the public according tae his wishes.[26]

Reception[eedit | eedit soorce]

Charlotte's Web wis generally well-reviewed when it wis released. In The New York Times, Eudora Welty wrote, "As a piece of work it is just about perfect, and just about magical in the way it is done."[27] Aside from its paperback sales, Charlotte's Web is 78th on the all-time bestselling hardback book list. According tae publicity for the 2006 film adaptation, the book has sold more than 45 million copies an been translated intae 23 languages. It wis a Newbery Honor book for 1953, losin tae Secret of the Andes bi Ann Nolan Clark for the Newbery Medal. In 1970, White won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, a major prize in the field o children's literature, for Charlotte's Web, along wi his first children's book, Stuart Little, published in 1945. Seth Lerer, in his book Children’s Literature, finds that Charlotte represents female authorship an creativity, an compares her tae other female chairacters in children's literature sic as Jo March in Little Women an Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden.[28] Nancy Larrick brings tae attention the "startling note of realism" in the opening line, "Where's Papa going with that Ax?"[29]

Illustrator Henry Cole expressed his deep childhood appreciation o the chairacters an story, an calls Garth Williams' illustrations full o "sensitivity, warmth, humor, and intelligence."[30] Illustrator Diana Cain Bluthenthal states that Williams' illustrations inspired an influenced her.[31]

There is an unabridged audio book read bi White himself which reappeared decades after it had originally been recorded.[32] Newsweek writes that White reads the story "without artifice and with a mellow charm," and that "White also has a plangency that will make you weep, so don't listen (at least, not to the sad parts) while driving."[32] Joe Berk, president o Pathway Sound, had recorded Charlotte's Web wi White in White's neighbor's house in Maine (which Berk describes as an especially memorable experience) an released the book in LP.[33] Bantam released Charlotte’s Web alongside Stuart Little on CD in 1991, digitally remastered, havin acquired the two o them for rather a large amount.[33]

In 2005, a school teacher in California conceived o a project for her class in which they would send out hundreds o drawings o speeders (each representin Charlotte’s child Aranea going out intae the world so that she can return an tell Wilbur o what she has seen) wi accompanyin letters; they ended up visitin a large number o parks, monuments, an museums, an were hosted bi an/or prompted responses from celebrities an politicians sic as John Travolta an then-First Lady Laura Bush.[34]

In 2003, Charlotte's Web wis listed at number 170 on the BBC's The Big Read poll o the UK's 200 "best-loved novels."[35] A 2004 study found that Charlotte's Web wis a common read-aloud book for third-graders in schools in San Diego County, California.[36] Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book ane o its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children."[37] It wis ane o the "Top 100 Chapter Books" o all time in a 2012 poll bi School Library Journal.[38]

Its awards an nominations include:

Adaptations[eedit | eedit soorce]

Film[eedit | eedit soorce]

The book wis adapted intae an animatit featur o the same name in 1973 bi Hanna-Barbera Productions an Sagittarius Productions wi a score bi the Sherman Brothers. In 2003, a direct-tae-video sequel tae that film, Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure, wis released bi Paramount Pictures. In 2006, Paramount Pictures, wi Walden Media, Kerner Entertainment Company, an Nickelodeon Movies, produced a live-action/animatit adaptation starrin Dakota Fanning as Fern an Julia Roberts as the voice o Charlotte, released on December 15, 2006.

Stage[eedit | eedit soorce]

A musical production wis created wi music an lyrics bi Charles Strouse.

Video game[eedit | eedit soorce]

A video game o the 2006 film wis developed bi Backbone Entertainment an published bi THQ an Sega, an released on December 12, 2006, for the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2 an PC.

See also[eedit | eedit soorce]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. "Private Tutor". Factmonster.com. Retrieved 25 Mey 2014.
  2. "Charlotte A. Cavatica: Bloodthirsty, Wise And True". NPR. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
  3. Kinghorn, Norton D. (Spring 1986). "The Real Miracle of Charlotte's Web". Children's Literature Association Quarterly (in Inglis). 11 (1): 4–9. doi:10.1353/chq.0.0418. ISSN 1553-1201.
  4. Ratelle, Amy (2014). "Ethics and Edibility in Charlotte's Web". The Lion and the Unicorn (in Inglis). 38 (3): 327–341. doi:10.1353/uni.2014.0026. ISSN 1080-6563.
  5. Mills, Sophie (2000). "Pig in the Middle". Children's Literature in Education (in Inglis). 31 (2): 107–124. doi:10.1023/A:1005178904342. ISSN 0045-6713.
  6. Thomas, Trudelle H. (2016). "The Arc of the Rope Swing: Humour, Poetry, and Spirituality in Charlotte's Web by E.B. White". International Journal of Children's Spirituality. 21: 201–215.
  7. Jordan, Anne Devereaux (1997). "Appreciating "Charlotte's Web"". Teaching and Learning Literature with Children and Young Adults. 7.
  8. Kinghorn, Norton D. (Spring 1986). "The Real Miracle of Charlotte's Web". Children's Literature Association Quarterly (in Inglis). 11 (1): 4–9. doi:10.1353/chq.0.0418. ISSN 1553-1201.
  9. Jordan, Anne Devereaux (1997). "Appreciating "Charlotte's Web"". Teaching and Learning Literature with Children and Young Adults. 7.
  10. Misheff, Sue (1998). "Beneath the Web and Over the Stream: The Search for Safe Places in Charlotte's Web and Bridge to Terabithia". Children's Literature in Education. 29.
  11. Mills, Sophie (2000). "Pig in the Middle". Children's Literature in Education (in Inglis). 31 (2): 107–124. doi:10.1023/A:1005178904342. ISSN 0045-6713.
  12. Kinghorn, Norton D. (Spring 1986). "The Real Miracle of Charlotte's Web". Children's Literature Association Quarterly (in Inglis). 11 (1): 4–9. doi:10.1353/chq.0.0418. ISSN 1553-1201.
  13. Mills, Sophie (2000). "Pig in the Middle". Children's Literature in Education (in Inglis). 31 (2): 107–124. doi:10.1023/A:1005178904342. ISSN 0045-6713.
  14. Jordan, Anne Devereaux (1997). "Appreciating "Charlotte's Web"". Teaching and Learning Literature with Children and Young Adults. 7.
  15. Scully, Matthew (Juin 2011). "Tangled Web; A Children's Classic, and the Moral Dimensions of Animal Farming. (The Story of Charlotte's Web: E. B. White's Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic)". The Weekly Standard. 16.
  16. White, E. B. (2006). "Authors & illustrators: E. B. White: AUTHOR NOTE: A Letter from E. B. White". harpercollinschildrens.com. HarperCollins Publishers. Retrieved 31 Mey 2009.
  17. Nordstrom, Ursula (12 Mey 1974). "Stuart, Wilbur, Charlotte: A Tale of Tales". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
  18. White, E.B. (Januar 1948). "Death of a Pig". The Atlantic. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  19. Weales, Gerald (24 Mey 1970). "The Designs of E. B. White". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
  20. Usher, Shaun. "A book is a sneeze". Letters of Note. Archived frae the original on 17 September 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  21. Elledge, Scott (1984). E. B. White: A Biography. W. W. Norton and Company. ISBN 0-393-01771-0.
  22. a b Neumeyer, Peter F. (1991). "Charlotte, Arachnida: The Scientific Sources". The Lion and the Unicorn. 19 (2): 223–231. doi:10.1353/uni.1995.0034. ISSN 0147-2593.
  23. a b Elledge (1984), p. 295.
  24. White, E.B.; Dorothy Lobrano Guth (ed.) (1976). Letters of E.B. White. Harper and Row. pp. 353–354. ISBN 0-06-014601-X.CS1 maint: extra text: authors leet (link)
  25. White (1976), p. 351.
  26. Garfield, Henry (Mey 2007). "E.B. White's Web". Bangor-Metro. Archived frae the original on 13 Januar 2009. Retrieved 17 Juin 2009. Unknown parameter |dead-url= ignored (help)
  27. Garfield, Henry (19 October 1952). "E.B. White's Web". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 Juin 2009. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  28. Lerer, Seth (2008). Children's Literature. University of Chicago Press. pp. 249–251. ISBN 0-226-47300-7.
  29. Larrick, Nancy (1982). A Parent's Guide to Children's Reading (Fifth ed.). Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The Westminster Press. p. 67. ISBN 0-664-32705-2.
  30. Cole, Henry (2005). The Art of Reading: Forty Illustrators Celebrate RIF's 40th Anniversary. Compiled by Reading Is Fundamental. Dutton Books. p. 33. ISBN 0-525-47484-6.
  31. Bluthenthal, Diana Cain (2005). The Art of Reading: Forty Illustrators Celebrate RIF's 40th Anniversary. Compiled by Reading Is Fundamental. Dutton Books. p. 30. ISBN 0-525-47484-6.
  32. a b Ames, Katrine; Marc Peyser (9 December 1991). "For Little Pitchers With Big Ears". Newsweek. New York (24): 79. ISSN 0028-9604.
  33. a b Schnol, Janet; Joanne Tangorra (18 October 1991). "Bantam Releases CD/Cassette of E. B. White Titles". Publishers Weekly. 238 (46): 32. ISSN 0000-0019.
  34. "Worldly Web: A traveling spider teaches fourth graders the joys of reading, meeting new people, and experiencing new adventures". Readers Digest. 13 Juin 2007. Retrieved 13 November 2012. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)[deid airtin]
  35. ""BBC – The Big Read"". BBC. Apryle 2003. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  36. Fisher, Douglas; et al. (2004). "Interactive Read-Alouds: Is There a Common Set of Implementation Practices?" (PDF). The Reading Teacher. 58 (1): 8¬–17. doi:10.1598/rt.58.1.1. Archived frae the original (PDF) on 7 December 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2012. Unknown parameter |dead-url= ignored (help)
  37. National Education Association (2007). "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". Archived frae the original on 7 Julie 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  38. Elizabeth Bird (7 Julie 2012). "Top 100 Chapter Book Poll Results". School Library Journal "A Fuse #8 Production" blog. Archived frae the original on 1 November 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2012. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  39. Newbery Medal Home Page, American Library Association
  40. Book awards: A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book
  41. "Children's awards". Archived frae Massachusetts the original Check |url= value (help) on 8 Februar 2009. Unknown parameter |dead-url= ignored (help)

Further reading[eedit | eedit soorce]

External links[eedit | eedit soorce]

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