Book Review: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Charlotte’s Web simple story is understandable itself. A young Maine farm girl saves a midget pig from being butchered, raising the pig until it is old enough to be transported to Zuckerman’s neighboring farm. At the farm, Wilbur, the name of the pig is raised, only to be saved once again, this time spider named Charlotte. The spider weaves messages celebrating Wilbur’s unlikeness into her webs. Humans are prompted that Wilbur is charmed ad they’ve given him a special prize at the county fair. After she lays her eggs, Charlotte then dies, as all spiders must. Wilbur, heartbroken, takes charge of hatching Charlotte’s offspring making sure that Charlotte’s legacy is kept alive.

It flows over into the story itself, as White’s abstraction with the right sentence where Charlotte laments over the right word to use in her pig-saving project. It delivers as a parable of the power of the written word, which conquers over the ax is one of the book’s more subtle appeal.

White gets to his deeper mission in Charlotte’s Web, having laid a durable foundation of realism, evoking the wonders that spring from the everyday world. The true miracles on the busy farm are depicted from the small things that are illustrated.

By highlighting the wondrous in daily life, White speaks straightforwardly to the solitary feelings of his young readers.  Whether it be the musical chitchat of feathered friends on the farm or, in the book’s most staggering sequence, the appearance of Charlotte’s young as they are brought out on a gentle breeze, clinging into the silk balloons they have netted.

It sprawls in White’s aptness to showcase how life comes from death is the most exceptional realization of Charlotte’s Web. With an uncorrupted admission, he tackles mortality.

It is unbelievably sad upon Charlotte’s lonely demise at the fairgrounds, but still, it is also gladly understood and even received by children. The book’s pure miracle is Charlotte’s rebirth through her 514 offspring and not by Wilbur’s twice survival of execution by the ax. White’s bravery as a children’s writer is commended as a writer who let his heroine die, wretched and solo, in his next to the last chapter. White was able to follow that heartbreak with a passage, who brought a compensatory smile to his young reader’s face as an author of genius.