Charlotte’s Web is undoubtedly one of the greatest stories ever told. With over 45 million copies sold, this is a book that has truly made a lasting and substantial contribution to literature.
The reading age of this book is said to be 9-11 years, but I can’t help but feel that adult readers can take just as much (if not more) away from this children’s story.
If you haven’t read this book, this piece contains spoilers, so you may want to stop reading now.
If you are still with me, it’s because you already know the unforgettable friendship between Charlotte & Wilbur and the sorrow of the books ending.
Experiencing this again as a thirty-four-year-old woman has given me a whole new perspective on the story. A new lens if you like to see things in a completely new way.
There are so many lessons beautifully weaved throughout that I’d love to share with you, as we can all interpret this book in our way for our own life.
One person believing in us is all it can take.
The opening scene was so poignant as Mr Arable tells Fern that Wilbur is “very small and weak and will never amount to anything” – how many times have you felt like this in your life?
What struck me about this is that one thoughtless person’s actions/words could have taken everything from Wilbur, but instead, one kind person’s actions/words gave him life.
It is natural to feel nervous about new experiences.
When Wilbur is taken to live in the barn away from Fern, he is rightly anxious, scared and feeling alone. It’s not easy or comfortable making new friends, but it all works out in the end.
From the moment we are in a new class at school, to a new job, or even in a group with new people online, we can feel like the odd ones out. Like we aren’t going to fit in, or we aren’t going to be welcome. In order to evolve and grow, these experiences can shape us, and incredible relationships can form that we need to survive. Don’t hide from them because it’s scary; embrace these opportunities because they carve new paths in life.
Don’t judge someone based on the opinions of others.
The other animals in the barn thought Charlotte was ugly and creepy; they kept their distance because that was the general opinion of the collective group. Wilbur loved her. He thought she was beautiful, intelligent and magical, which she was.
Instead of getting sucked into the opinions of others, he uses his own heart and mind when getting to know Charlotte. It just shows that the most unlikely friendships can also be the ones that are most significant.
Have you ever formed an opinion based on what someone else has told you? Or do you accept everyone equally and get to know them?
Our gifts can change the world.
When Charlotte promised Wilbur that she wouldn’t let him get slaughtered, you couldn’t help but wonder how a tiny spider could save a pig from humans. I mean, how can something so small have such an impact along with something so big?
Charlotte’s Webs were her magical; nothing about them were ordinary because they were spun in her way, with her heart and soul.
Those webs changed Wilbur’s world – and that of the farm too, with so much attention being drawn in.
Charlotte was just being Charlotte, and it was more beautiful than I can put into words.
What if our superpower is just being ourselves?
What if our greatness is already within us?
What if even if we feel/appear small, our impact is still mighty?
It’s ok to celebrate ourselves.
When Wilbur won a ribbon at the fair, he humbly said, “It is deeply satisfying to win a prize in front of people”
I often think wouldn’t it be lovely if the term “being full of yourself” wasn’t seen as a negative. What if we all thought highly of ourselves and our achievements? Why can’t this be seen as confidence and happiness instead of ego?
We can all make changes for the better.
Templeton, the Rat, only cared about himself; this was apparent throughout the story. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t capable of change. As Charlotte lay dying, Templeton’s first selfless act of saving her egg sac shows that we can all grow to be more caring and more considerate of others.
In a world with such hatred, I want my children always to be encouraged to #BeKind.
Our legacy lives on.
Even for adults, this moment of goodbye between Wilbur and Charlotte is heartbreaking; I found it impossible to hold back my tears.
We all inevitably lose people that we love, but it is also true that their legacy will always live on in those around them. Charlotte’s body may have left the barn, but she was still there, in all of them.
I have dedicated my life’s work to supporting others in leaving their legacy, their stories, their soul and their message to the world in order to never be forgotten, for generation after generations to come. The ending of this story truly resonated with me, the power and magnitude of my work.
I hope that you can experience this story again, through your own lens.
I would love to know your thoughts and observations too?