Friday, September 20, 2013

[Review] Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

Title: Charlotte’s Web
Author: E.B. White
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: 2003
Pages: 184p
ISBN: 0-06-440055-7

Charlotte’s web was the first fable book I ever read. For some reason, I just can’t imagine how animals talk to each other, so I thought this kind of book would give me nothing to learn, and I just found myself making another mistake for judging something before even trying it. 

This story began when Fern convince her father not to kill a new born pig. For Mr. Arable, the pig looked like a runt, so it was worthless. But fern insisted to give the pig a chance to live. She said that the pig couldn’t help being born small, so it’s unfair to cut his life so early. Finally, her parents gave the pig to her and she raised him in the bottle and called him Wilbur. Every day after school, Fern played with Wilbur, took him for a walk and fed him. But when Wilbur grew big and bigger, Mr. Arable asked fern to sell Wilbur to his uncle Mr. Zuckerman. The only reason Fern was agreed is she can visit him anytime she want because the Zuckerman’s barn can be reached on foot. 

And so the story goes, took place in the Zuckerman’s barn, Wilbur met new friends, gosling, sheep, a rat named Templeton and Charlotte, a beautiful tiny spider high in the barn. Wilbur started to love the barn, but one day he heard about Christmas and he freaked out because his new friend told him about how pig always turn into bacon and ham in Christmas time. When Wilbur energy dried out by sadness, a little voice from Charlotte came to him in the midnight and told him to calm down and promised to save his life. Wilbur felt light instantly and the friendship between two different animals began. The question is how does a tiny spider could save a pig’s life?

Finished in two hour, I found myself love this book very much. It may sound simple when Mr. Arable decided to kill a runt pig, but I thought, sometimes we don’t realize when we pretend to know everything and act like God by judging another person's life. This story does not only speak to our frailty but also taught us about the simple way to find the meaning of friendship and life. It contains hope, friendship, survival and spirit to have a meaningful life. What Charlotte did throughout the book was really sweet and it made me smile and sad at the same time, but that was the way Charlotte loves her friends. When you give all you’ve got to someone, it means you give them everything you have, and I called it love. Charlotte also taught me to make a better life by giving. The other character that contribute to Wilbur's survival is Templeton, a rat that only cares about himself but always came at the right moment to help others with some request in return. It reminds me that in many ways in our life, we’ll meet the right person to fulfill a role but it’s not always for free, there are price to pay. The interesting thing about this book is the fact that fern could understand all the conversation between the animals in the barn while others couldn’t. How does it work for fern? That is the other question but I don’t need the answer. Four stars for this simply lovable story and I’m looking for watch the movie.

Charlotte’s web was awarded as Newberry honor book in 1953, it was voted as the top children’s novel in 2012 by School Library Journal, awarded by Massachusetts Children’s Book in 1984. So this fable is classic children literature that enjoyable for adult as well as children.

The author, E.B. White was an American writer, born in Mount Vernon, New York, 11 July 1899. He began as a contributor for The New Yorker magazine in 1925 and 27 years later the Charlotte’s Web appeared.

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