Essay on Charlotte's Web: Webbing Characters with Words

1559 Words 7 Pages
What defines a person? Is it his actions, his intention, or his reputation? No matter what the answer is, people associate who they are with the words used to describe them. The novel Charlotte’s Web is no exception, for within it, words are used as the basis for transforming perspectives. In the novel, the individual words weaved into Charlotte’s web transform the other characters’ perspectives of Wilbur. After realizing the impact and influence of words by witnessing the change in perspective of the other characters, Wilbur begins to change his perception of himself. Charlotte, on the other hand, uses words as a way to form a moral for Wilbur. This awareness of words reveals Wilbur’s and Charlotte’s relationship with words as a mechanism …show more content…
What defines a person? Is it his actions, his intention, or his reputation? No matter what the answer is, people associate who they are with the words used to describe them. The novel Charlotte’s Web is no exception, for within it, words are used as the basis for transforming perspectives. In the novel, the individual words weaved into Charlotte’s web transform the other characters’ perspectives of Wilbur. After realizing the impact and influence of words by witnessing the change in perspective of the other characters, Wilbur begins to change his perception of himself. Charlotte, on the other hand, uses words as a way to form a moral for Wilbur. This awareness of words reveals Wilbur’s and Charlotte’s relationship with words as a mechanism for transformation and consequently reflects the child-parent relationship Wilbur and Charlotte possess. In this relationship, Wilbur fulfills the role of a child and Charlotte fulfills the role of the parent and demonstrates why and when words are appropriate to use.
Other characters’ opinions of Wilbur are influenced by the words written on Charlotte’s web. At first, Wilbur was only considered pork – something to be eaten for winter (49). However, as soon as the words appeared on Charlotte’s web, Mr. Zuckerman stopped thinking of Wilbur as food. When the word ‘terrific’ appears on the web, Mr. Zuckerman states that “there isn’t a pig in the whole state that is terrific as our pig” (96). When the word ‘radiant’ appears on Charlotte’s
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