Book Review: Charlotte’s Web

I had heard so much about Charlotte’s Web that I had to pick it up and I am glad I did! I don’t care if it is a kid’s book, Charlotte’s Web is one of the most delightful and well-crafted stories I have ever read.

Wilbur the pig is born a runt, and the farmer decides that he must be killed. Little Fern intervenes and persuades her father to let Wilbur live. She cares for the undersized pig who is later sent to a nearby farm. Fern visits him daily at the farm. Wilbur longs for company and turns to all the other farm animals for love and guidance: chickens, mice, birds and of course, Charlotte, the friendly spider. His idyllic life is disrupted when he discovers the horrible fate that awaits him. Scared and confused, he looks desperately for an escape. Charlotte thinks of an idea to save Wilbur from the axe. She spins webs overnight highlighting Wilbur’s talents in the hope of saving him. But will she succeed?

The book’s a classic for good reason. E.B. White writes a refreshingly emotional story with twists and turns which keeps the readers hooked. The engaging story gives you a glimpse of the rural life in America during the 1940s.

Valuable life lessons of love, kindness and friendship form the core of Charlotte’s Web. Here are my favorite lines from the book:

“Why did you do all this for me?” he asked. “I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’
You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.”

The book is aimed for young readers but is equally enjoyed by adults. Through the story of Wilbur and Charlotte, the author teaches us the human values of love, friendship, honesty, compassion, utilizing your talent for a greater good, being hopeful and self sacrifice. The story beautifully depicts the uncertainties and irony of life. Wilbur’s life is constantly on the edge. There are people who are preparing to reduce him to bacon and ham but at the same time, he has friends who go to extremes to save him at any cost. We also come across all sorts of people and situations in life. The key is to embrace whatever life throws at you because eventually things are going to be turn out just fine. And if not, then the end is yet to come.

This tender story is written in light, beautiful prose which is easy to understand. All in all, a fine children’s book which everyone should read at least once in their life. Truly a timeless classic!

 Book: Charlotte’s Web

Originally published: 15 October 1952

Author: E. B. White

Page count: 192

Illustrator: Garth Williams

Genres: Fiction, Children’s literature

©2019 Shaloo Walia All rights reserved

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