Charlotte's Web

Charlotte's Web

Please help me!!! , what is the part played by nature in Charlotte's Web

Asked by
Last updated by Aslan
Answers 1
Add Yours

The novel is set on two farms: first the Arable’s and then the Zuckerman’s. Apart from their trip to the fair, the animals and the families are located here and so nature in its most basic form surrounds them.

Although the animals talk in this novel, White makes sure that they are presented as realistic creatures. When we first meet Charlotte we are given a detailed account of how she catches her meals and although Wilbur finds it gruesome, it is important that we recognise Charlotte as a spider even though she can talk like a human.

Nature works in harmony and it is interesting that when destructive forces enter the world of the novel, a shift takes place to evict the enemy. For instance when Avery tries to knock Charlotte out of her web and in so doing topples (this is interesting – he loses his balance as the balance of nature readjusts to expel him) and falls over, breaking the egg, which of course in turn forces him to leave.

On several occasions the story demonstrates nature’s survival instinct. Early on in the novel when Wilbur is first moved outdoors, Fern is worried that he will be cold but her father says: “You watch and see what he does.” Fern watches Wilbur poke “the straw with his snout. In a short time he had dug a tunnel in the straw. He crawled into the tunnel and disappeared from sight, completely covered with straw.” Even though Wilbur does not live with his litter and therefore won’t have learnt by watching other pigs how to keep warm, he instinctively knows what to do. Dr Dorian makes the same point with regard to Charlotte. When asked by Mrs Arable if he understands how words could have appeared in a spider’s web, he answers: “I don’t understand it. But for that matter I don’t understand how a spider learned to spin a web I the first place. When the words appeared, everyone said they were a miracle. But nobody pointed out that the web itself is a miracle.”

Nature also echoes the changes that take place in the novel: Wilbur is born in the spring which is characteristically a time of renewal and Charlotte dies in the autumn. On Wilbur’s loneliest day in the barn, nature also reflects how he is feeling: it is “rainy and dark”.