Unconditional Love in E.B. White's Charlotte's Web

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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 ...

... middle of paper ...

... and contrasting Charlotte with the other characters in

Charlotte's Web has shown that the degree of Charlotte's love is

incomparable and irreplaceable. She is indeed the ideal role model of

unconditional love.



- White, E. B. (1952). Charlotte's Web. Hamish Hamilton.

- White, E. B. (1999). Salutations! Wit and Wisdom from Charlotte's Web.

HarperCollins Publishers

- Lukens, R. J. (1995). A Critical Handbook of Children's Literature.

New York: HarperCollins College Publishers Journal

- Marion, G. (1973). E.B. White's Unexpected Items of Enchantment.

Children's Literature in Education, 11, 104-115.

Internet Resource

- Huntley, C., Phillips, M.A. (1994). Storytelling Output Report for

Charlotte's Web. Retrieved February 29, 2004, from


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