Assignment #1 |
Examining Characters in “Charlotte’s Web” |
Ashley Faulkner Student # c0160372Lambton College |
2/16/2012Word Count: 897 |
Every character in literature has a purpose or a reason why he or she is in the story. Often, characters are given the task of teaching a lesson or being symbolic of something. Two characters in “Charlotte’s Web”, Fern “Arable” and Mrs. Arable are two characters who are symbolic of their own themes: Inequality & Injustice vs. Power & Control, respectively.
Fern “Arable” is the little girl who is introduced in the first few pages. Fern is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arable, and the sister of Avery “Arable”. The last ...view middle of the document...
As Fern ran after her father to stop him from killing the piglet, “the grass was wet and the earth smelled of springtime” (White 2). This language presents the concept of childhood to be a time of innocence, and Fern was surrounded by it. This innocence could blind her from seeing that sometimes, the world isn’t fair.
When Fern catches up to her father, she begs him while sobbing, “Please don’t kill it! It’s unfair!”. (White 2). Fern also presents a moving argument to Mr. Arable while solidifying her themes when she says, “But it’s unfair! The pig couldn’t help being born small, could it? If I had been born very small at birth, would you have killed me?” (White 3).
These examples make Fern’s themes of inequality and injustice very apparent.
The second character to examine for the themes of Power and Control is Mrs. Arable who is the mother of Fern and Avery and the wife of Mr. Arable. In the development of her character, Mrs. Arable is immediately shown as a strong woman who has an abrasive personality. She is also a woman who is not tactful with the language she uses, especially with her daughter Fern. Mrs. Arable exhibits power and control over her daughter and paints a vivid picture of how she views the world.
With children, adults usually use euphemistically charged language in order to explain things that may be harder for a child to understand. Mrs. Arable doesn’t choose her words so carefully, explaining that the pig would have “died anyway” (White 1). When Fern asks her mother...