Unconditional Love in E.B. White's Charlotte's Web
In fantasy like Charlotte's Web, the animals are true to their
natures, yet similar to people. They think and worry and love and hurt
and laugh and needle one another as people do. In Charlotte's Web,
human truths of friendship and love are revealed. I strongly agree
with the statement that Charlotte is truly the ideal role model of
unconditional love and will support my stand by highlighting
Charlotte's selfless acts, contrasting her with Templeton, showing why
he is the complete opposite of her, comparing her with other models of
love such as Fern, Mrs. Arable and the goose and lastly, proving that
Wilbur's change is a result of her unconditional love.
We know Charlotte's nature very well. She was Wilbur's best friend and
saviour; beautiful and intelligent. As White put it, "It's not often
that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.
Charlotte was both." She is not only motherly, but hardworking, and her
web words prove it. She is the same wise and selfless character at the
end of the story that she was at the beginning, which makes her the
ideal model of unconditional love.
In Wilbur's first conversation with Charlotte, Wilbur's discovery of
how Charlotte survives impedes their new friendship, "Charlotteis
fierce, brutal, scheming, bloodthirsty- everything I don't like. How
can I learn to like her, even though she is pretty and, of course,
clever?" The friendship looked questionable. But White reassures us by
saying "she has a kind heart, and she was to prove loyal to the very
end." The development of what seemed like an impossible relationship
reveals and defines unconditional love.
Charlotte's profound love for Wilbur was first demonstrated when she
showed appreciation for Wilbur. Wilbur has the attitude that he is
ordinary; Charlotte's point of view is that he is a very special pig-
"Wilbur blushed, 'But I'm not terrific, Charlotte. I'm just about
average for a pig.' 'You're terrific as far as I'm concerned,' replied
Charlotte, sweetly, 'and that's what counts. You're my best friend,
and I think you're sensational.'" This clearly underlines the
uniqueness of Charlotte's love.
Charlotte has encouraged, protected, and mothered Wilbur, bargained
and sacrificed for him, and Wilbur the grateful receiver, realizes
that "Friendship is one of the most satisfying things in the world."
It is, essentially, her actions that prove to be a testament for her
In "Bad News", when Wilbur hears he is being fattened for slaughter,
he wails. However, Charlotte asserts calmly, "I am going to save you."
Charlotte is driven to save him, "...I am not going to let you die,
Wilbur'" and assured that Charlotte can perform miracle, Wilbur calms
down to be patient, trusting and humble.
Moreover, to keep Wilbur from worrying, Charlotte is able make him
think she is in the process of implementing a plan to save him, when...